MTN is a South Africa-based multinational mobile telecommunications company, operating in many African, European and Asian countries. Its head office is in Johannesburg. As of 30 June 2017, MTN recorded 500 million subscribers across its operations. Although MTN operates in over 20 countries, one-third of its revenues come from Nigeria, where it holds about 43% market share.
Recently, The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has confirmed MTN Nigeria’s adherence to the deal entered in 2015 after the South African company was fined ₦1.04 trillion for non-compliance with the deactivation of unregistered SIM cards on its network.
According to The Guardian, asides the failure of MTN Nigeria, which controls 43% of the country’s telecommunications market, to fully deactivate subscribers with unregistered and incomplete Subscriber Identification Modules (SIM) cards details within the stipulated time, NCC officials feel belittled and disrespected after MTN sent low ranking officials to a meeting which was attended by high ranking NCC officials, members of the SSS and officials from the office of the National Security Adviser. As if that wasn’t enough NCC says their enforcement and monitoring officials were denied access at the MTN office to their switches for inspection.
The N1.04 trillion fine is said to be as regards the timing of the disconnection of 5.1 million MTN Nigeria subscribers who were disconnected in August and September 2015 and is based on a fine of N200, 000 for each unregistered subscriber.
The commission confirmed that MTN Nigeria is in line with the payment agreement reached in 2015 for the reduced amount of the fine of ₦330 billion instead of the initial 1.4trillion fine.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Umar Danbatta said that:
“It is a whopping sum of money and they have not defaulted,” and the payments are being made in line with the terms of the agreement.
The payment schedule of the agreement:
- ₦50 Million – to the government- Paid
- ₦30 Billion – NCC Treasury Single Account (between June 10, 2016, and 30 days after the agreement.)
- ₦30 Billion – March 31, 2017- Paid
- ₦55 Billion – March 31, 2018
- ₦55 Billion – December 31, 2018
- ₦55 Billion – March 31, 2019
- ₦55 Billion – May 31, 2019
Part of the terms of the deal struck with the telecommunications industry regulator was that MTN Nigeria would be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and the company revealed earlier in 2018 that the listing is slated for later this year.