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MTN Nigeria sues NCC over $5.2 billion fine; NCC directs MTN to disconnect another 18 million lines

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MTN Nigeria sues NCC over $5.2 billion fine; NCC directs MTN to disconnect another 18 million lines

The last has not been heard about the $5.2 billion fine the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) placed on MTN for failing to disconnect 5.1 million unregistered sim cards from its network.

MTN Nigeria has decided to sue the commission over the issue, arguing that the NCC isn’t empowered by law to set such fines in the first place.

The statement announcing the decision to sue the regulator which was released today reads in part:

“MTN Nigeria acting on legal advice has resolved that the manner of the imposition of the fine and the quantum thereof is not in accordance with the NCC’s powers under the Nigerian Communication Act and therefore there are valid grounds upon which to challenge the fine.

Accordingly, MTN has followed due process and has instructed its lawyers to proceed with an action in the Federal High Court in Lagos seeking appropriate reliefs.”

The statement also states that MTN will continue to engage with the Nigerian authorities to find and “amicable solution” to the issue.

In a related development, the NCC has directed MTN to disconnect another 18 million lines from its network over incomplete registration details. According to the document, MTN is required to disconnect the affected lines on or before the 31st of January, 2016. Failure to comply will lead to another N200,000 per sim fine, which will add up to a mind boggling, three trillion six hundred billion Naira total.

 

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