N330bn Fine: MTN Makes First Installment Payment Of N30bn To FG

NCC-MTNLeading mobile telecommunications service provider, MTN Nigeria, yesterday announced the first installment payment of N30bn to the Federal Government, in compliance to the terms of settlement agreed upon by both parties early this month.  

The payment of N30billion is in addition to the N50billion earlier paid by MTN Nigeria as a sign of “good faith”, bringing the total fine paid so far by the company to N80 billion out of N330bn fine.

The telecom firm has up to 2019 to pay the remaining N250bn, according to the agreement with the government. 

It would be recalled that the federal government, through the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, slammed a record N1.4trillion fine on MTN Nigeria in October, 2015 for regulatory infraction.

However, following high-level talks, the fine was reduced to N330bn by the government on June 10, 2016.

SEE ALSO: MTN Agrees To Pay NCC Fine

In a statement yesterday by its CEO, Ferdi Moolman, MTN Nigeria expressed delight that the fine imbroglio was amicably settled in the interest of all the parties concerned.

“I am pleased to announce that the first payment of N30 billion in the terms of settlement has already been disbursed to the NCC. In addition to the earlier payment of N50 billion which we paid in good faith and without prejudice on February 24, this means we have now paid a total of N80 billion”, Mr. Moolman said.

Meanwhile, the company also confirmed that the NCC has issued the 2.6GHz license to it for a ten-year period after paying N18.96 billion to the regulator.

The NCC had earlier declared MTN as winner of the auction for the 2.6GHz band, which guarantees superior performance for wireless networks, especially 4G LTE services.

The regulator said the bid by the telecom company was in full compliance with the relevant provisions of the Information Memorandum (IM) for the exercise in which MTN emerged as sole approved bidder. 

The NCC has described this spectrum as a significant trigger for a broadband revolution that will unlock benefits such as greater coverage, access, affordability and innovation, with the customer at the centre of these gains.

In reaction, Moolman said “We are very pleased with this development at this time, which is a further step in the right direction for Nigeria. Indeed, MTN is fully aligned and supports the NCC’s objective to deliver broadband services to present and future generations of subscribers, in line with the National Broadband Plan of 2013.