MTN must pay its R71 billion fine in 18 days

The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has given MTN until 16 November 2015 to pay a $5.2 billion fine, or face the consequences.

This is according to a report by the AFP newswire.

The NCC hit MTN Nigeria with a 1.04 trillion naira fine (around R71 billion) on Monday morning for a number of violations in the country.

The fine relates to the timing of the disconnection of 5.1 million MTN Nigeria subscribers who were disconnected in August and September 2015, and is based on a fine of N200,000 for each unregistered subscriber.

However, it was reported that MTN has accumulated as many as 28 separate infractions with the Nigerian authority.

“As it stands today, MTN’s persistent violations have forced the NCC to impose the unprecedented sanction of suspending all regulatory services to MTN following its accumulation of over 28 separate and proven infractions,” the body said.

According to AFP, the NCC hasn’t determined what sanctions or consequences MTN would face if it fails to meet the deadline, but would “cross that bridge” if and when it gets there.

Reuters is reporting that MTN executives have met with the Nigerian authorities in a bid to settle the matter.

The telco’s shares have tanked on the JSE, slipping close to 20% in value since the weekend. Ratings agency Fitch has since adjusted the company’s credit rating to a negative outlook at a BBB rating.

This article originally appeared on BusinessTech and is republished with permission.

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MTN must pay its R71 billion fine in 18 days