MTN: FG to initiate fresh talks on N1.4trn fine

By Olabisi Olaleye

THE Federal Government has disclosed that another round of fresh discussions with MTN Nigeria would take place soon.
The discussion may not be unconnected with the recent part payment of N50 billion by MTN out of the reduced N780 billion fine. The Federal Government, through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), confirmed the receipt of the money on Monday.
Commenting on the prolonged fine saga, the Communications Minister, Adebayo Shittu, confirmed the possibility of the fresh talks, saying, “the final decision to rest the fine saga between NCC and MTN lies with President Muhammadu Buhari. It is for the government to meet with MTN and conclude negotiations.”
Last week, MTN withdrew a lawsuit against NCC over discrepancies on the N1.4 trillion ($5.2 billion) fine, and sought out-of-court settlement.
MTN was fined for failing to disconnect unregistered 5.1 million SIM users.
Meanwhile, NCC’s Public Affairs Director, Mr. Tony Ojobo, in a statement on Monday while confirming receipt of N50 billion payment from MTN, noted that a negotiation team would be led by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, while former US Attorney General and Head of Covington & Burling LLP, Washington DC, Mr. Eric Holder will stand for MTN.

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