Nigerian Telecom Minister, Adebayo Shittu has called on MTN to cancel lawsuit against Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) over a $3.9 billion fine slammed on it by the commission. This according to him will fasten the out-of-court resolution of the matter.
MTN which is the leading telecom company in Nigeria was fined $5.2 billion for failing to disconnect SIM cards with incomplete registration or that have not been registered. The fine was reduced to $3.9 billion which is 25% reduction after several weeks of negotiation.
However, MTN was not satisfied with the outcome of the negotiation and has gone to court to challenge the legal grounds of NCC for imposing the fine.
During the last court hearing on the case, MTN team of lawyers has asked the court to allow the company more days to complete discussion with the Nigeria authorities which according to the lawyers was in progress before the case was initiated. The judge granted the prayer of the consul to MTN giving both parties until March 18 to resolve the issue otherwise the court will continue with hearing on the case.
While addressing reporters on Tuesday, the Nigerian telecom minister said that he was not aware of any out-of-the court settlement.
While speaking to journalists on Tuesday, Shittu advised MTN to withdraw the court case in order to facilitate discussion on the issue. He denied having any knowledge of out-of-the-court settlement between MTN and NCC.
Shittu argued that the withdrawal of the case will create a platform for tension-free discussion on both sides.
The Minister insisted that President Muhammadu Buhari has a final say on the matter.