$5.2b Fine: We Don’t Want MTN to Shut Down – New Communications Minister

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New Communications Minister, Adebayo Shittu has said that the federal government doesn’t want MTN to quit the country because of a $5.2 billion fine imposed last month.

The payment deadline is Monday and there is no indication that the South African company can, or will, pay the fine imposed by the Nigerian Communications Commission for failing to cut off 5.2 million unregistered SIM cards.

While speaking with Reuters in an interview, Shittu said “A judgment has been given, as it were, and the period for enforcement has not yet passed. “Nobody wants MTN to die. Nobody wants MTN to shut down.

When he was asked to comment on the progress of the talks with MTN, he said “Nothing before me. If any new thing would happen, there must be initiative from concerned quarters. It is up to MTN.”

When he was also asked to comment on consequences of non-payment, he said “We don’t want them to leave.”

Nigeria accounts for 37 per cent of MTN’s revenue, Shittu insisted that the Telecoms sector is the key to diversifying the Nigerian economy from Crude Oil.

He said telecoms will provide quick growth compared to agriculture.

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