Thursday 17 December 2015

MTN drags Nigerian Government to court over NCC fine

South African telecoms giant MTN said Thursday it would launch a court challenge against the $3.9 billion fine that Nigeria has ordered it to pay by December 31 for failing to disconnect unregistered users.

MTN, in a statement to shareholders today, said it decided to take this route after exhausting all other options to have the fine reduced.

MTN said that “All factors having a bearing on the matter have been thoroughly and carefully considered, including a review of the circumstances leading to the fine and the subsequent letters received from the NCC.”
“MTN Nigeria, acting on legal advice, has resolved that the manner of the imposition of the fine and the quantum thereof is not in accordance with the NCC’s powers under the Nigerian Communications Act and therefore there are valid grounds upon which to challenge the fine.”
"There are valid grounds upon which to challenge the fine."
It added that MTN lawyers would take the case to the High Court in Lagos.

The fine was subject to confusion after the NCC cut the initial $5.2 billion fine to $3.4 billion.

But it was then increased to $3.9 billion after the NCC admitted making a calculating error.

Johannesburg-based MTN -- Africa's largest telecoms firm -- was fined 200,000 naira ($1,000) for each unregistered users.

It said it now expected all parties "to restrain from taking further action until the matter is finally determined."

"The company will continue to engage with the Nigerian authorities to try and ensure an amicable resolution," it added.

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