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MTN to Continue Providing Service Despite Not Paying Fine After the Deadline

Justin Anumiri

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MTN Nigeria which is at loggerheads with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has released a statement saying that it would continue to provide its subscribers with service even as the deadline for the payment of colossal fine slammed on the company by NCC has expired.

It could be recalled that MTN was at loggerheads with the NCC for the past few months over the huge fine the commission slammed on the leading mobile network provider in the country. NCC imposed a fine of N1.04 trillion on MTN for its inability to deactivate their subscribers using unregistered SIM cards or SIM cards that are not properly registered within the deadline given.

The company since then has engaged the Nigerian authorities for the resolution of the problem. NCC has also responded to the plea of the company by reducing the fine to N780 and gave the company until 31st of January to pay it.

Not being satisfied with the decision of NCC. MTN Nigeria has gone to court to challenge the fine praying the court to cancel it on the ground that MTN was not any hearing. The contention of MTN is that NCC is playing the regulator, executive, legislative and judiciary. The company has assembled a team of lawyers comprising of 7 advocates to fight the legal battle for them. The lawyers in their brief argued that the NCC denied MTN the right of fair hearing.

MTN has said it does not expect any disruption in service as a result of the case. According to Mr. Funso Aina, the External Relations Manager of MTN Nigeria, since the case is still pending in the court, all parties are expected to take no further action until the final judgment is given. Mr. Funso said that he would not make much comment on the issue owing to the fact that the case is still in court.

He also said that despite the fact the case was still in court, the company would still continue negotiation with NCC in order to resolve the issue amicable.

An insider from the NCC has also confirmed that MTN has not pay the fine within the deadline given. According to the source, the commission will sit on Monday to take decision on the issue.