The government of Nigeria has called on MTN to make a down payment as a “show of good faith” before the mobile operator’s proposal for an out of court settlement will be considered, this according to a report in Nigeria Communications Week.
Mr. Adebayo Shittu, Minister of Communication, said in Lagos that the federal government will not reenter negotiations with MTN until a substantial portion of the N780 billion fine is paid as an act of good faith.
Shittu said: “When MTN came, we understood their pleas. However, we added that if you cannot meet up with the fine, you have to add your account details to show that upon paying, your company will collapse. They are yet to respond on that. The next thing was for me to get a call that they are going to court. And now, they are coming back for out of court settlement. We don’t want MTN to die; rather, we want them to obey the law.”
The minister averred that MTN initially acknowledged the registration default and pleaded for leniency. Subsequently, President Buhari reduced the fine from N1.04 trillion to N780 billion.
A lagos court has given MTN until March 18, 2016 to settle the matter out of court .