MTN Nigeria has agreed to pay a total cash amount of 330bn naira — the equivalent of $1,7bn (R25,1bn) at the official exchange rate, or R13,6bn on the parallel market — to settle the fine imposed by authorities in the West African nation.
The telecommunications group has also agreed to list its Nigerian unit on the Nigerian stock market.
The settlement amount is a substantial reduction from the 780bn naira (R58,8bn) that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had been seeking. The NCC imposed the fine after MTN failed to cut off more than 5m unregistered Sim cards.
MTN said the matter has been resolved in full with Nigeria’s federal government.
The agreed fine is payable over three years to the federal government and is in “full and final settlement of the matter”.
It includes 50bn naira already paid in good faith on 24 February 2016, leaving a balance of 280bn naira to be settled.
This will be paid off as follows: 30bn naira on 8 July 2016; 30bn naira on 31 March 2017; 55bn naira on 31 March 2018; 55bn on 31 December 2018; 55bn naira on 31 March 2019; and 55bn naira on 31 May 2019.
In addition to the monetary settlement, MTN Nigeria will subscribe to the “voluntary observance” of the code of corporate governance for the telecoms industry and will ensure compulsory compliance when the code is made mandatory for the industry.
In addition, MTN Nigeria will list its shares on the Nigerian stock market “as soon as commercially and legally possible after the date of execution of the settlement agreement”.
It has also promised to always ensure full compliance with its licence terms and conditions, as set down by the NCC.
MTN interim executive chairman Phuthuma Nhleko thanked the Nigerian government for “the spirit in which the matter was resolved”. – © 2016 NewsCentral Media