FG Gets N80 Billion From MTN Fine

By Ikenga Chronicles December 27, 2016

The Federal Government said it has received N80 billion of the N330 billion from the fine imposed on MTN for failing to deactivate more than five million unregistered SIM cards. This was disclosed by Adebayo Shittu, at a forum organised by NAN in Abuja yesterday

This means that the telcom  company has paid the said sum already, and is still owing the Nigerian government about N250 billion out of the total sum agreed following the infraction.

Recall that MTN was initially fined 5.2 billion dollars (N1.04 trillion) but this was later reduced to N330 billion.

“For the first year, they paid N80 billion, after paying the initial N50 billion, and they will have to pay for three years until they complete the N330 billion” Shittu said.

“MTN does not have a choice, when the law was made, it said for every unregistered SIM card in use, the fine is N200,000, the law never anticipated that one company will be in violation to the tune of millions of lines.”

“It was inconceivable, so when the thing was added 200,000 times 5.2 million lines, it came to a trillion plus.”

“When it happened, MTN did four things; one they accepted that they were in default, two, they apologised for that and three they committed themselves never to allow such a thing to happen and number four, they asked for remission.”

“Government had to look at a number of factors because if they have to pay this amount,they will pack up.”

“We also knew that we invited the international community to come and invest and anything that will be done which will shake the confidence of international investors in Nigerian economy, we must avoid it.”

“Consequently, we must not throw away the baby with the bath water, if they had packed up and left, let us assume all their staff are not more than 5, 000, it means all of those 5,000 will lose their jobs”

“Also those who made investment, and bought their shares will lose their equity and the Nigeria banking sector would go into crisis.”

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