MINISTER of Communications, Adebayo Shittu and Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, for the second time, shunned the House of Representatives Committee on Telecommunication to appear before it to explain why the N1.04 trillion fined on MTN was reduced to N330 billion. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications, Mr. Sunny Echonu, had last week, informed members of the committee that federal government decided to reduce the fine from N1.04trn to N330bn following series of meetings and negotiations with stakeholders so as to end the impasse. While rejecting the offer by MTN to pay N330 billion out of the N1.04 trillion, the committee had summoned Adebayo Shittu, Abubakar Malami and the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC, Prof. Garba Danbatta to appear before the committee today (yesterday). At the resumed hearing yesterday, neither Shittu nor Malami was in attendance. It was only the NCC’s boss, Prof. Danbatta and the Director of Public Affairs in the commission, Mr. Tony Ojobo that were in attendance. In his opening remarks, chairman of the committee, Hon. Saheed Fijabi expressed disappointment on the absence of the two ministers in such a crucial meeting.
Fijabi said, though there was a written communication from the Attorney-General of the Federation that he was in Lagos to represent the president at a function. He said the committee would go ahead to lay its report on the floor of the House having received submissions from NCC and other stakeholders. Nigerian Pilot recalls that the mobile telecommunication giant, MTN was last year fined N1.04 trillion by the NCC for violation of sim card registration