Telecommunications giant, MTN Nigeria has paid another N30 billion to the Nigerian government in part settlement of a N330 billion fine imposed on the telco for not disconnecting unregistered SIM cards, Reuters said.
Having paid N80 billion in December, the current payment brings the amount paid out of the fine to N110 billion. The fine is due for payment in six instalments over three years, MTN.
MTN was originally fined $5.2 billion (N1.65tn) last October for failing to deactivate more than five million unregistered SIM cards, but the fine was reduced in a settlement that paved the way for MTN to list its subsidiary on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
MTN, which operates in 20 countries, had set aside $600 million(N191bn) last year to pay the fine. Two months after making the first payment from the fine, MTN Group declared its first full-year loss, blaming it on the fine. Negotiations on payment of the fine lasted eight months, which saw both parties going in and out of the courts.
NCC spokesman, Tony Ojobo had disclosed the terms of settlement last year. Ojobo said by the terms of agreement, the money will be made in six tranches. He gave the breakdown as: N30 billion into NCC’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) 30 days from June 10, 2016 (it has been paid).
He said other dates and amounts of the agreements were: March 31, 2017 (N30Billion) which has just been paid, March 31, 2018 (N55Billion), December 31, 2018 (N55Billion), March 31, 2019 (N55Billion) and May 31, 2019 (N55Billion).