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NCC expects MTN’s last tranche of N55bn payment on SIM infraction fine this month

The telecoms regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Tuesday, announced that whereas latest entrant to the nation’s Stock Exchange, MTN Nigeria Plc., has paid up to N275bn being part of the N330bn fine for breaches in SIM registration, the last tranche of N55bn is highly expected before the end of May, 2019.
Recall that the fine which was calculated to be N1.04tn was watered down to N330bn after six months of negotiation and re-negotiation. This was in addition to the “goodwill” payment of N50 billion earlier made by MTN to the government.
Also, part of the fallout of the negotiated terms of payment of the fine is the listing of MTN on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), and this is being done.
NCC in a statement made available to Business Hilights, explained that by the prevailing staggered arrangement, May 31, 2019 would be the deadline for the telecoms company to pay the sixth and final tranche of the balance of N55 billion.
NCC said “Specifically, MTN began the payment structure with the payment of N30 billion into NCC’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) 30 days from the date of the agreement dated June 10 2016.
“Subsequently, MTN paid N30 billion on March 31, 2017; N55 billion on March 31, 2018; N55 billion on December 31, 2018 and on March 31, it paid N55 billion.
“The balance and final tranche of the payment will be paid by May 31, 2019, in line with the staggered payments structure agreed by MTN and Nigerian government.
Trouble had started for the telecoms giant on October 20, 2015, when the regulator imposed a fine of N1.04 trillion on MTN for infraction of the provision of the NCC Telephone Subscribers Registration Regulations 2011; for failure to disconnect 5.2 million improperly-registered Subscriber Identification Modules (SIM) lines within the prescribed deadline, because these lines had economic activities on them without proper registration.
Giving details on the state of MTN fine payment at the valedictory service organised for the Minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu in Abuja, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said the Commission had succeeded in empowering Nigerians “to control, manage and own telecommunications companies in Nigeria by owning shares in MTN Nigeria.”