The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday insisted on full payment of the N$5.2 billion fine imposed on MTN three weeks ago for regulatory infraction even as negotiations continue, Daily Trust learnt yesterday.
MTN announced yesterday that the Nigerian authorities agreed that the fine wouldn’t be paid until negotiations have been concluded.
The Head of Research of Renaissance Capital (RenCap), Mr. Adesoji Solanke, had shared a note with clients where he said, “MTN is pushing to reduce the fine by 60 per cent to 80 per cent.” A second lender was also quoted to have said that “MTN is considering borrowing from banks as it recently checked what the banks’ lending capacity to it is.”
“Nigerian authorities have, without prejudice, agreed that the imposed fine will not be payable until the negotiations have been concluded”, the telecoms company said in a statement.
But an NCC official told Daily Trust in Abuja yesterday that NCC may not accede to the MTN request of reduction in the $5.2bn fine by 80 per cent (about $4.16bn). “We told them there is nothing like that; no 80 per cent reduction but some concessions may be made on when to pay it and how to pay it”, the NCC official who pleaded anonymity said.
Since the announcement of the fine, MTN’s shares had lost nearly 25 per cent of their value. The $5.2 billion fine also led to the resignation of the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Group, Mr. Sifiso Dabengwa last week.