According to a report published by The Vanguard, Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari has 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.
According to the Vanguard report, 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.
According to reports, Buhari stated that Nigeria’s biggest concern was the security of lives and property of its people in the midst of terrorism.
Buhari was quoted saying that: “This is the first time I will personally as a president be making a public comment about it. The concern of the federal government is basically on the security and not the fine imposed on MTN. You know how the unregistered GSM are being used by terrorists. And between 2009 and today, at least 10,000 Nigerians were killed by Boko Haram. That was why NCC asked MTN, Glo and the rest of them to register GSM. Unfortunately, MTN was very, very slow and contributed to the casualties.”
According to a report published by thestreetjournal.org, Buhari – at the press conference – added that unfortunately for the telecommunication firm, rather than negotiating the fine or the mode of payment, it dragged the Federal Government to court. He said the country’s constitution stipulates that no further action should be taken on any issue that is a subject of litigation. Buhari said now that MTN had decided to withdraw the case from court, it is free to go back to the relevant government agencies to see if the fine can be reduced and paid in installments.
In a separate article, published by Bloomberg, it was reported that Nigerian troops killed 18 Boko Haram fighters while repelling attacks by the Islamist group on two military locations in the northeast of the country. The report revealed that Nigeria’s government stated that it is making progress in its battle against Boko Haram, which has waged a violent seven-year campaign, mainly in the northeast of the country, to impose its version of Islamic law on Africa’s largest economy.