The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has formally confirmed the receipt of N50 billion from leading telecoms service provider, MTN Nigeria, towards the amicable settlement of the situation that arose following the imposition of N1.04 trillion on the company for violating a directive to deregister improperly or unregistered SIM cards on its network.
The initial fine was subsequently reduced to N780 billion following a series of negotiations between the company and Nigerian authorities.
The telecoms company had preceded the payment with the withdrawal of a suit it instituted against the regulatory body at the Federal High Court.
Confirming the payment, which he said was a good faith payment, Tony Ojobo, the Director of Public Affairs at NCC said the official information to that effect was received from the Office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice on Sunday.
He said: “The amount is an unconditional good faith payment, on the basis that this sum would be applied towards eventual settlement agreement for payment of the fine imposed by the Commission, where the ongoing negotiations between the Federal Government and the company reaches a final resolution.
“The Federal Government’s team for the negotiations is being led by the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, while MTN team is led former U.S Attorney General, and Head of Covington & Burling LLP, Washington DC, Mr Eric H. Holder, Jr.”
He added that the receipt of the amount, and withdrawal of the suit, was without prejudice to the final decision of government on the terms of payment being proposed by the company.