The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says the MTN Group has nine days left to pay up its N330 billion fine, which has a deadline of May 31.
In October 2015, the regulator slammed MTN a fine of N1.04 trillion following failure to cut off five million unregistered subscribers after a deadline set by NCC, in agreement with major telcos in the country.
The fine was eventually reduced to N330 billion with a condition that MTN will list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) — a condition that was met last Thursday.
At the time, MTN was given a deadline of November 16, 2015, to pay the fine, but a compromise was reached by the regulator and MTN for a later date.
In a statement this week NCC disclosed that MTN had N275 billion and has N55 billion to go.
“Following a negotiated reduction of the N1.04 trillion fine on MTN Nigeria to N330 billion and in line with the staggered payment arrangement, MTN has, so far, paid N275 billion to the Federal Government,” NCC said.
“Part of the fallout of the negotiated terms of payment of the fine is the listing of MTN on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), and this is being done.
“What this means, according to the staggered arrangement, is that May 31, 2019 would be the deadline for the telecoms company to pay the sixth and final tranche of the balance of N55 billion.
“After six months of negotiation and re-negotiation over the fine which led to the reduction to N330 billion, it was agreed that MTN would pay a balance of N280 billion in six tranches.”
“This was in addition to the ‘goodwill’ payment of N50 billion earlier made by MTN to the government.”
NCC said “MTN began the payment structure with the payment of N30 billion into NCC’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) 30 days from the date of the agreement dated June 10 2016″.
“Subsequently, MTN paid N30 billion on March 31, 2017; N55 billion on March 31, 2018; N55 billion on December 31, 2018 and on March 31, it paid N55 billion.”