HOUSE of Representatives
Committee on Telecommunication
yesterday rejected the recent
offer by MTN to pay N330 billion
out of the N1.04 trillion it was
initially fined by the Nigerian
Communications Commission,
NCC, for violating sim card
registration.
Chairman of the committee,
Hon. Saheed Fijabi told journalists
in Abuja that it was laughable
that even when the committee
investigating the alleged offence
had not concluded its investigation,
MTN in collusion with some
powerful forces, had come up with
an offer.
Fijabi hinted that they had
summoned the Minister of
Communications, Adebayo Shittu
and the Executive Vice Chairman/
Chief Executive Officer, Prof.
Umar Garba Danbatta, to appear
on Monday and explain the reason
for the recent development.
He stated that for MTN to have
arrived at the proposed amount
without taking into consideration
the number of lives that were lost
as a result of its disobedience to
the NCC directives suggested that
some powerful influence were
behind the action.
The committee chairman
explained that going by the NCC
Act, instead of reducing the fine
of N1.04 trillion, it was supposed
to be increased looking at the
enormity and consequences of the
company’s negligence.
He regretted that NCC had in a
letter to the Attorney-General of
the Federation AGF and Minister
of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on
the proposal for settlement of
issues regarding the imposed fine
on MTN for violation of sim card
registration directive, stated that
the initial proposal by the telecom
giant to pay N300 billion was a far
cry and wondered what happened
that warrant the change of mind.
The letter dated March 1, 2016,
stated: “The proposal to pay the
sum of N300 billion as against
the fine of N1.04 trillion (and
subsequently reduced to N700
billion by the Federal Government
of Nigeria, FGN) is not supported
by any verifiable justification.
“When considered vis-a-vis the
quantum of fine, the present sum
is a far cry and there is no verifiable
basis for arriving at the new figure.
“The Nigerian Communications
Commission (Registration
of Telephone Subscribers)
Regulations, 2011 (Sim card
regulations) pursuant to which
the fine was imposed stipulates an
objective calculation method per
Regulations 19 and 20.
“We are of the view that a
discounted amount should be
a percentage of the statutory
stipulated amount and not a figure
that cannot be justified in the
terms of the objective standards
established by the Regulations.
That way, the impression being
portrayed by MTN that the fine
was arbitrary and not based on
any objective standard will be laid
to rest.”


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