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MTN Will Not Pay Fine, To Exit Nigeria – Source

MTN is planning to exit Nigeria as the operator will not pay a dime to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as regards the N1.04 trillion fine that was later reduced to N780 billion.

According to Communications week, a top official of MTN Nigeria confided in Business Journal that the telecom operator has perfected two grand strategies to avoid paying the fine to NCC.

“I can tell you that MTN Nigeria will not pay a single penny or dime to the NCC. We have already instructed the seven Senior Advocates of Nigeria [SANs] handling our legal action against NCC to keep the matter perpetually in court, up to the Supreme Court, by all means necessary until Buhari leaves office or Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC completes his five-year term.

Now, even if Buhari and Danbatta secure a second term, that would be eight and 1O years respectively, but we can keep the case in court beyond 1O years.”

The MTN official insisted that the operator cannot pay such huge fine without going under, arguing that what the NCC did was clearly in bad faith, not what they expected from a regulator.

He said the second strategy is to withdraw from Nigeria and expand to more African nations to make up for any revenue shortfall in terms of the Group.

“Our second strategy is to leave the Nigerian market entirely and expand into other territories in Africa and probably, the Middle East, to cushion the expected revenue gap from Nigeria.”

However, Over the weekend, MTN Nigeria said that it is willing to restore re­lationship with NCC no matter the current situation in the industry.  There was no relationship broken and non to be restored. The issue is that rules were undermined and the penalty is fine.”

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However, when IT NEWS NIGERIA put a call through to NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Mr. Tony Ojobo, he did not respond. He also did not respond to a text message as regard the regulator’s reaction to MTN media public apology.

IT NEWS NIGERIA gathered that new MTN Nigeria, Chief Executive Officer, Ferdinand Moolman and Corporate Service Execu­tive, Aminat Oyagbola are quoted as saying that MTN was ready to restore relationship with NCC.

According to her, the approach to reconciliation is to correct any area where the firm had erred in the past.

Said she: “The approach is to take the steps lined up to move the industry forward, correct where we have erred in the past, ensure good business re­lationship with all stakeholders in the industry. It starts with show of good faith; speaking the truth. We want to restore and generate more goodwill”, she stated.

The new CEO also added that the fine issue was very critical for MTN to resolve, disclosing that the fine is about 95 per cent of their total revenue for a year.

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