Africa’s biggest mobile operator MTN says it will contest 1.04 trillion naira (R71 billion) fine imposed on the company by the Nigerian Communications Commission, in court.
The fine relates to the late disconnecting of 5.1 million MTN Nigerian subscribers in August and September 2015.
Earlier this month, the NCC moved to reduce its fine on MTN Nigeria to N674 billion naira ($3.4 million or ±R48.5 billion).
It said that MTN Nigeria had until the end of December to settle the fine.
In a statement on Thursday (17 December), MTN said that it conducted a thorough review of the circumstances leading to the fine and the subsequent letters received from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
“MTN Nigeria acting on legal advice has resolved that the manner of the imposition of the
fine and the quantum thereof is not in accordance with the NCC’s powers under the
Nigerian Communications Act and therefore there are valid grounds upon which to challenge the fine.
“Accordingly MTN has followed due process and has instructed its lawyers to proceed with
an action in the Federal High Court in Lagos seeking the appropriate reliefs,” it said.
MTN said it is advised that in the current circumstances in line with the lis pendens rule (pending legal action) the parties are enjoined to restrain from taking further action until the matter is finally determined.
“This is consistent with previous judicial decisions in Nigeria,” it said.
MTN said it will continue to engage with the Nigerian Authorities to try and ensure an amicable resolution in the best interests of the company, its stakeholders and the Nigerian Authorities