Reps Summon Communications Minister, NCC - Rejects N330bn MTN fine deal - EazyFeeds

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Sunday, 12 June 2016

Reps Summon Communications Minister, NCC - Rejects N330bn MTN fine deal

The House of Repre­sentatives yesterday rejected the offer by the South African telecom­munications network pro­vider, MTN, to pay N330 billion out of the N1.04 tril­lion it was initially fined by the Nigerian Communica­tions Commission (NCC) for alleged violation of the registration of telephone subscribers’ regulations (Sim Card registration).
Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Telecommunications, Saheed Fijabi stated this at an emergency press brief­ing held in Abuja.

According to him, even though the House Com­mittee investigating the al­leged offence of the MTN had not concluded its in­vestigation, MTN in col­lusion with some powerful forces had come up with an offer.
Fijabi told journalists that the Minister of Com­munications, Adebayo Shittu and the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Ex­ecutive Officer, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta have been invited to appear on Mon­day to explain the reason for the recent development.
The committee stated that for MTN to have ar­rived at the proposed amount without taking into consideration the number of lives that were lost as a result of its disobedience to the NCC directives sug­gested that some powerful influence were behind the action.
Besides, Fijabi stated that going by the NCC Act, in­stead of reducing the fine of N1.04 trillion, it was sup­posed to be increased look­ing at the enormity and consequences of the com­pany’s negligence.
He regretted that NCC had in a letter to the Attor­ney General of the Federa­tion (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami on the proposal for settle­ment of issues regarding the fine imposed on MTN for violation of SIM card registration directive, stat­ed that the initial proposal by the telecom giant to pay N300 billion was a far cry, wondering what happened that warrant the change of mind.
The letter dated March 1, 2016, stated: “The proposal to pay the sum of N300 bil­lion as against the fine of N1.04 trillion (and subse­quently reduced to N700 billion by the Federal Gov­ernment of Nigeria, FGN) is not supported by any verifiable justification.
“When considered vis-a-vis the quantum of fine, the present sum is a far cry and there is no verifiable basis for arriving at the new fig­ure.
“That way, the impres­sion being portrayed by MTN that the fine was ar­bitrary and not based on any objective standard will be laid to rest,” he said.

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