By ADENIYI THOMAS
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reduced the fine imposed on the MTN group to $3.4 billion from the initial $5.2 billion as its CEO in Nigeria Micheal Ikpoki resigns.
NCC gives new ultimatum has December 31, 2015 to the company as deadline to pay up the fine.
Nigerian Communications Commission decided to reduce the levy after considering a request from the company, Johannesburg-based MTN said in a statement on Thursday. MTN named Ferdi Moolman, the former CEO of the company’s Iran unit and most recently the chief financial officer of MTN Nigeria, as head of the Lagos-based operations, replacing Michael Ikpoki, who resigned.
The Nigerian regulator imposed the fine on MTN for failing to meet a deadline to disconnect 5.1 million unregistered subscribers. Group Chairman Phuthuma Nhleko took an executive position in November and led negotiations with the NCC after CEO Sifiso Dabengwa quit.
The MTN statement said: “MTN has received a formal letter dated 2 December 2015 from the NCC informing the company that, after considering the company’s request, it has taken the decision to reduce the fine on the MTN Nigeria business from the original N1, 040,000,000,000 (one trillion, forty billion naira) to N674 billion naira which has to be paid by 31 December 2015.
“The fine relates to the late disconnecting of 5.1 million MTN Nigeria subscribers in August and September 2015.”