MTN, one of Africa’s largest
telecoms operators, yesterday
agreed to pay the $1.671-billion
fine imposed on it in October
2015 to Nigeria’s government in
instalments covering the period of
three years.
The telecoms operators are
to pay the first instalment of
N330 billion (the equivalent
of $1.671-billion at the official
exchange rate and $902million at
the Lagos Parallel Market Rate) to
the [government] in full and final
settlement of the matter.”
The amount, which represents
only a third of the original
$5.2-billion, will be paid from this
year through 2019.
This follows a re-negotiation
of N1.04trillion fine imposed on
MTN, Nigeria, by the Nigerian
Communications Commission,
NCC, according to a statement
signed by the Director, Public
Affairs, Mr. Tony Ojobo in Abuja.
The statement said that MTN
will pay N330 billion into NCC’s
Treasury Single Account, TSA,
with the Central Bank of Nigeria,
CBN, by the 10th of July 2016,
and that the amount includes
the “goodwill” payment of N50
billion earlier made by MTN to
the federal government through
the Anthony General of the
Further, the statement said
the balance of N280Billion will
be made in six tranches in the
following order. “By the terms
of agreement, MTN will pay
N30billion into NCC’s Treasury
Single Account, TSA, with the
Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN,
30 days from the date of the
agreement dated June 10, 2016”.
“Other dates of payments
include: March 31, 2017 -N30
billion, March 31, 2018 -N55
billion, December 31, 2018 -N55
billion, March 31, 2019- N55
billion and the balance will be in
May 31, 2019- N55 billion”.
Also, another statement from
the telecoms operators said
that, “MTN is pleased to inform
shareholders that the matter has
been resolved with the Federal
Government of Nigeria.
“MTN Nigeria has agreed to pay
a total cash amount of N330 billion
over three years (the equivalent
of $1.671-billion at the official
exchange rate and $902-million at
the Lagos Parallel Market Rate) to
the [government] in full and final
settlement of the matter.”
Ojobo said shareholders at
the meeting agreed that MTN
shall undertake the followings:
“Tender an apology in line with
the apology previously tendered
in correspondences relating to
this matter to the Government of
Nigeria and Nigerians within the
one month of the execution of this
“Subscribe to the voluntary
observance of the Code of
Corporate Governance for
the Telecoms Industry and
would ensure compulsory
compliance when the said Code
is made mandatory for the
telecommunications industry;
“Undertake to take immediate
steps to ensure the listing of its
shares on the Nigerian Stock
Exchange as soon as commercially
and legally possible after the date
of execution of this Settlement
The NCC statement noted
that both parties agreed that
these terms of settlement cannot
be altered, varied, annulled or
modified in any respect, except
by writing duly executed by
both parties; and the terms of
settlement constitute all the terms
and conditions of the settlement
and supersede and replace any
previous offers, representations
and terms.
In arriving at the agreement, the
EVC said the decision was taken
based on professionalism and
global best practices and in line
with the NCC core value “to be
fair, firm and forthright.”
Nigerian Pilot Saturday recalls
that the MTN was fined by
the Nigerian Communications
Commission, NCC, for failing to
disconnect 5.2 million subscribers
(at $1,000 each) as part of a
crackdown last year against
unregistered SIM cards, which
the Nigerian government said
were being used by terrorist
organisation Boko Haram
The fine resulted in MTN CEO
Sifiso Dabengwa resigning in
November and former CEO and
current group executive chairman
Phuthuma Nhleko resuming his
chief executive role.
Nhleko said “he expresses
his thanks and gratitude to the
Federal Government of Nigeria
for the spirit in which the matter
was resolved and believes this is
the best outcome for the company,
its stakeholders, the government
and the Nigerian people and that
the relationship between MTN,
the government and the NCC has
been restored and strengthened”.
MTN paid one instalment in
February and has scheduled six
other payments to cover the sum
by May 2019.
The statement noted that
the agreement and resolutions
were signed by Executive
Vice Chairman EVC, of NCC,
Prof. Umar G. Danbatta, NCC
Commission Secretary, Mr. Felix
Adeoye, Chief Executive of MTN,
Fredinand (Fredi) Moolman and
MTN’s Company Secretary, Mrs.
UtoUkpanah, and witnessed by
Mr. Tony Ojobo, NCC, Director,
Public Affairs; Mr. Usman Malah,
Chief of Staff to the EVC, NCC;
Ms Helen Obi, Assistant Director,
Legal, NCC and Ms. Amina
Oyagbola, Corporate Executive,
Meanwhile, according to
Bloomberg News, shares in
Johannesburg-listed MTN surged
21 percent, which also claimed that
the MTN shares rose 10 percent,
on track for their biggest gain
since 2008, on the Johannesburg
Stock Exchange.
The settlement also clears the
way for MTN to list its local unit
on the Nigerian Stock Exchange
as soon as “commercially and
legally possible”, its statement
said. Nigeria with a population of
over 170 million people remains
MTN’s largest market.

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