According to an article by dailypost.ng, Hon. Sajeed Fijabi, of the Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Telecommunications, has insisted that MTN Nigeria pay the N1.04 trillion fine in full instead of the reduced rate of N780bn.
Back in October 2015, the Nigerian Communications Commission had fined the mobile giant for failing to disconnect 5.2 million unregistered subscribers on its network.
According the dailypost.ng report, speaking in a meeting with the Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu and officials of NCC, Fijabi said any negotiation should be spearheaded by the NCC and not the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami. In the report it had been mentioned that Fijabi had stressed that there should be no room for a reduction of the fine, as it would set a bad precedent.
As quoted by the report, Fijabi said: “There is nowhere in the law that says there is room for reduction. If you are reducing this now, what will happen to Glo and others? I see MTN going to court every time as a way to circumvent the law. In the US, British Petroleum paid the full fine for the oil spill (in the Gulf of Mexico). Somebody is not allowing you to handle this matter the way you should. After you had imposed the fine, somebody is negotiating and reducing it. You imposed the fine, you should take the lead in negotiations, but now you are being sidelined. You imposed the N1.04 trillion fine, and we at the National Assembly have already projected that amount as part of federal government’s revenue.”
Fijabi faulted the Attorney General’s role of leading the negotiation on the fine with MTN, stressing that Malami usurped the powers of the NCC.
Mohammadu Buhari speaks out:
Since the fine was issued, Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari had remained silent on the matter; however, he has since broken his silence on the massive fine imposed on MTN by stating that at least 10,000 lives of Nigerians were lost due to the delay in the registration of sim cards by the mobile operator.
Buhari – who spoke in a joint press conference with the visiting South African president, Jacob Zuma at the presidential villa in Abuja – was giving reasons why the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) fined the network provider. Read the full article here.