MTN pays N80 billion of N330 billion fine to Nigerian govt

MTN Nigeria office
MTN Nigeria office

The communication giant, MTN, has paid N80 billion of the N330 billion fine imposed on it by the Nigerian government for failing to deactivate more than five million unregistered SIM cards.

Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, disclosed this at the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, Forum in Abuja.

He said the payment was for this first year and is the first tranche of the total payment.

MTN, Nigeria’s largest mobile operator, was initially fined 5.2 billion dollars (N1.04 trillion) for failing to deactivate more than five million unregistered SIM cards.

The fine on the South Africa-owned company was later reduced to N330 billion.

“For the first year, they paid N80 billion, after paying the initial N50 billion, and they will have to pay for three years until they will complete the N330 billion.

“MTN does not have a choice, when the law was made, it said for every unregistered SIM card in use, the fine is N200, 000, the law never anticipated that one company will be in violation to the tune of millions of lines.

“It was inconceivable, so when the thing was added 200,000 times 5.2 million lines, it came to a trillion plus.

“When it happened, the MTN did four things; one they accepted that they were in default, two, they apologised for that and three they committed themselves never to allow such a thing to happen and number four, they asked for remission.

“Government had to look at a number of factors because if they have to pay this amount; they will pack up.

“We also knew that we invited the international community to come and invest and anything that will be done which will shake the confidence of international investors in Nigerian economy, we must avoid it.

The reduction of the fine was initially condemned by Nigerians leading to an enquiry by the Nigerian parliament.

Mr. Shittu, however, stuck to his guns, insisting the government acted right in the deal.

“We must not throw away the baby with the bath water. If they had packed up and left, let us assume all their staff are not more than 5,000, it means all of those 5,000 will lose their jobs,” he said on Monday.

“Also those who made investment, who bought shares will lose their shares and the Nigeria banking sector would go into crisis.”

The minister said that even in the court system, if one was fined and could not pay for one reason or the other, the person would ask for reconsideration either by way of appeal or bringing a motion.


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  • sammyctu ode

    When will government compel MTN to pay the N500M bribe money that Amina Oyagbola and her corrupt team paid to Mr. President’s chief of staff? Mr. President please don’t sweep this case under the carpet.

    • M.M.2

      @sammyctuode:disqus

      Reuben Abati, and, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

      I may be wrong but President Buhari does not have any moral courage to
      fight corruption. If you show him the corruption inside his presidential office
      he’ll be smiling just like a hypocritical eunuch. I don’t know how such hypocrite
      could be voted for as president of a country looking for progress because this
      Buhari has no moral direction and that is why Nigeria is now blowing in the wind.

      Has President Buhari asked Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to return the 1.3 trillion
      missing in Central Bank in his fraud-infested tenure as the bank governor?

      Since May 29th, 2015, when the official audit report of the Central Bank was
      placed on his table the hypocrite president, Muhamadu Buhari, has been looking
      the other way. But the same President Buhari is running after Reuben Abati who
      took and digested 50 million Naira. A thief is a thief. If Reuben Abati can go to
      jail at EFCC prison for 50 million Naira, is public execution too much for Sanusi
      Lamido Sanusi for his own 1.2 TRILLION NAIRA? That is the question arising.

      • Alkaliimaam

        The corruption BUHARI sweeps under carpet: CENTRAL BANK audit result

        • ₦38.23billion developed legs and got missing in Central Bank under Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
        • ₦160billion was taken by Sanusi Lamido at the Central Bank for self-determined spending.
        • ₦1.12billion was taken as spent by Sanusi Lamido on lunch for 12 CBN police guards
        in one year.
        • ₦1.12billion was taken in cash and entered in the account as paid to a non-operating airline
        for charter service.
        • ₦240billion was discretionally doled out at will as ‘donations’ by Sanusi Lamido.
        • ₦1.97billion was paid out in cash and entered on Central Bank accounts as “inexplicable
        expense” by Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
        • ₦20billion was entered as paid out in cash as Legal Fees by Sanusi Lamido to persons
        unknown.
        • ₦3.086billion was taken by Sanusi Lamido and written off as expense ostensibly to promote
        Central Bank image.

        • Robert O. Efehgosa

          President Buhari should know that he has no right to forgive 1.2 trillion Naira. It is not his personal money that he can forgive. The bringing in of Sanusi Lamido to account and refund this money is
          compulsory, no matter what President Buhari may be thinking. Sanusi Lamido himself is not a child.
          Sanusi Lamido should know that accountability is mandatory in public service. Once an audit has
          shown missing funds of 1.2 trillion Naira Sanusi Lamido enters right into the criminal justice system.

          • el figaro

            “WITH his petulance, foul temperament and imprudent conduct, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
            impoverished the sobriety and dignity of the office of Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria
            in ways that made his appointment seem like an error in the first place.

            “Firstly, contrary to his mandate of being a frontline steward of the nation’s economy,
            achieving low inflation, stabilising the Naira, and protecting the autonomy of the apex bank,
            the Governor of the Central Bank – Sanusi Lamido – spent more time playing politics
            and playing to the gallery.

            In his public outbursts and most recently on the NNPC’s funds, Sanusi Lamido approbated and simultaneously reprobated to the extent that the primacy of his concerns and revelations were
            obviated by his flippancy”.

            …………The Guardian (Editorial)

            (March 5th, 2014)

        • Maliki

          When will you people leave our Emir alone? If he had corruptly enriched himself at CBN he would not have the guts to tell this government the bitter truth, his closeness to PMB notwithstanding.

      • Dokoku

        @sammyctuode:disqus, Within 60 days of resuming office between May 30 and July 20, 2015,
        with civil servants owed 6 months’ salaries in at least 22 states, President Muhamadu Buhari
        went straight to the Central Bank and carried away one billion Naira – all this within 60 days of
        resuming office! Buhari then stuffed the whole one billion Naira into the pockets of his crony, Brigadier
        Buba Marwa, with a whisper and with Buhari’s forefinger firmly on his lips, signalling that secrets be kept
        secret. That first decision in office burnt up the borrowed robes of ‘integrity’ Nigeria’s unthinking journalists
        dressed Muhamadu Buhari in.

        • Dele T. Agunbiade

          I think Brigadier Buba Marwa should return this loot if he wants to sleep well in
          his old age because this is scandal that cannot be tolerated by right-thinking
          Nigerians. Once this thing has come out in the open it is no longer a deal but
          something close to financial crime, therefore, Brigadier Buba Marwa must return
          this money immediately.

          One billion Naira is 50% of the monthly revenue of Oshun state government.
          How can Brigadier Buba Marwa alone put all that money into his own pocket,
          without feeling any sense guilty of stealing by tricks within just 60 days after
          President Muhamadu Buhari took his own oath of office? Haba Alhaji!
          Is Muhamadu Buhari this crooked and corrupt? I am shocked.

        • No-Comment

          “President Buhari’s thinking process is seriously encumbered by his inability to tolerate
          the thoughts, feelings, views and the rights of others. He is unable to understand why others
          should see things differently from him. He is at pains as to why others could not genuflect
          at his snapping of his finger. He is intellectually constricted to understand why he has to
          debate his views or his positions or why he should tolerate those who have the temerity
          to question his views or stand on anything. Buhari is already failing as a born again
          democrat. And from the look of things, “awry” is the word that describes the state
          of the APC and Buhari’s administration right now”.

          ………Remi Oyeyemi

          [February 11th, 2016]

      • Records2016

        “Enveloped in the security of Aso Rock, Reuben Abati severed relationships with his colleagues of
        twenty or more years. He answered no calls. From what those who sought his attention told me,
        his policy must have been “A friend in need is no friend of mine”.

        Back on the street, with his Aso Rock associates running for cover, he has discovered that his
        old friends are no longer eager to see him. He is tainted with the odor of pervasive corruption
        which characterized the government he served. He could either claim not to be aware
        of all the grand larceny taking place around him; or he could confess to have been
        a participant. Either a dupe or a rogue; he has to choose.”

        …………Dele Sobowale

        VANGUARD newspaper [November 6th, 2016]

    • Statusquo2017

      MTN SHOULD DEMAND THAT ALL OTHER PEOPLE DUE TO RETURN MONEY TO GOVERNMENT
      MUST ALSO RETURN WHAT IS DUE BACK BECAUSE THE LAW DOES NOT ALLOW TARGETING
      ONLY PERSON OR COMPANY TO REFUND MONEY IF OTHERS ARE JUST LEFT FREE TO LOOT.

  • bulus

    N80billion is less than half of what the govt spends on docile, corrupt, over-bloated and unproductive civil servants monthly..imagine pumping that amount into the private sector as single digit interest loans or into the economy through projects so that contractors can be engaged while indirectly boosting the informal sectors like electricians, tilers, plumbers etc.. Civil service reforms is key to our development because only mad people will continue to spend N170billion monthly to pay “evil servants” in a recession…

  • Lancife

    Is PT not aware of the suicide bombing in Maiduguri today?