Thursday, December 3, 2015

MTN Must Pay N1.04trillion Fine, FG Insists

The federal government has insisted that MTN Nigeria must pay the N1.04 trillion fine issued against it by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Minister of Communication, Barr Adebayo Shittu, made who known yesterday, in Abuja, said the federal government is not letting up on the fine.

Speaking to journalists during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth national cybercrime workshop 2015 in Abuja, Shittu debunked speculation that the federal government was planning to waive the fine slammed on the South African firm.

There have been speculations in some online media platforms that President Muhammadu Buhari may waive the N1.04 trillion fine when he meets his South African counterpart, President Jacob Zuma when they meet for the Forum of China-Africa Co-operation in Johannesburg later this week.

An online report on TVC news quoted the spokesman for the Department of International Relations South Africa, Clayson Monyela, as saying that expected meeting between the two heads of state will decide MTN’s fate regarding the fine, adding that the government was monitoring the development with keen interest.

The minister, who stressed that the fine was slammed on MTN because of its refusal to deactivate the lines undermines government efforts to tackle security challenges and the war on terror in the nation, said the federal government is committing everything into fighting crime, especially the negative effects of cybercrime, which includes terrorism.

Earlier the executive vice chairman of NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, said though the deadline has expired, the fine is still receiving attention.

Danbatta said: “The fine is still receiving attention. The deadline has expired, that we are aware. What we did was to write to them to acknowledge the letter that have written to the commission which admitted that they committed a breach in the letter, they have undertaken to good regulatory behaviour and an apology to the Nigerian people as well as well as solicitation of leniency on the quantum of the fine, these things are still receiving attention and we wrote to acknowledged the receipt of the letter in order to ensure that there are no further sanctions of non-compliance on the deadline. So they not have broken any rule.”

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