MTN’s new CEO, Phuthuma Nhleko is in Nigeria to negotiate with authorities to reduce a $5.2 billion fine imposed on the telco group for breaching the country’s regulations.
This is according to report by the City Press, saying the executive landed in the country on Thursday (12 November).
The fine relates to 5.2 million improper SIM cards which MTN failed to disconnect in Nigeria, opening the country up to “serious security threats”, according to the Nigerian Communication Commission.
The fine was imposed on MTN in August, with a deadline to pay set for Monday, 16 November 2016. With that deadline looming, MTN confirmed that its new chief executive is in Nigeria to deal with “the most unfortunate prevailing circumstances”.
According to the City Press, it’s unclear how long the executive will be in the country.
Nhleko, a former CEO of MTN, took up the role once again after former chief, Sifiso Dabengwa, stepped down amid the regulatory mess.
Nhleko served as non-executive director and chairman of MTN from July 2001 until June 2002 and thereafter as an executive director, group president and CEO until March 2011.
He served as non-executive chairman of the group until Dabengwa resigned.