MTN Begs: This N1.4trillion Fine Is Too Heavy For Us

Three days after Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, slammed a N1.4 trillion penalty on MTN for failure to disconnect customers with unregistered SIM cards, MTN group has cried out that the fine was too extreme, even as it continues to engage the regulator on how to resolve the issue.
MTN Group claimed that NCC refused to listen to its plea to reconsider its stand on the penalty slammed on its Nigerian arm last week.
According to a report, MTN Nigeria spokeswoman, Chineze Gbenga-Oluwatoye, had said:
“recommendations were put forward with respect to the non-commensurable nature of the fine but the NCC did not accept recommendations that the fine of 200,000 Naira ($1,005) per SIM was too heavy.”“MTN Nigeria contacted the regulator with concerns that a demand to disconnect SIM cards by a certain deadline would cause “severe disruption” for customers and recommended a staggered process to limit the possible impact,” said Oluwatoye.
As a result of the huge fine, MTN shares plummeted about 20% this week in Johannesburg. The biggest four-day drop since 2008, valuing the company at about 284 billion rand ($21 billion).
The NCC is seeking the penalties because MTN missed a deadline to disconnect 5.1 million subscribers and as a result MTN is now reviewing its management in the country.
Meanwhile, Financial analysts have pointedly said that Nigeria government is at risk of scaring off investors it can’t afford to lose if the N1.4 trillion fine slammed on MTN holds through.