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Stop begging, pay N1trn fine – FG tells MTN as Nigeria CEO faces sack

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Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
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calendar-icon Posted on: 2020-05-21 14:00:38
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MTN



All pleas by the MTN Group to make President Muhammadu Buhari intervene in the N1trillion fine slammed on it by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) have fallen on deaf ears.

This, perhaps, led to the yesterday’s resignation of MTN Group CEO Sifiso Dabengwa.

MTN Group in a statement yesterday said its Ex-CEO, Phuthuma Nhleko would take charge for six months after which a new CEO will be appointed.

A senior federal official told Daily Trust that: “The MTN Group delegation met with the Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari and he told them they must pay the fine.

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MTN said it was continuing talks with the authorities in Nigeria over the fine.

However, the federal government is only interested in seeing the fine paid.

“The November 16 deadline still stands. No concession, the government is only interested in seeing $5.2bn paid by MTN,” NCC official said.

Yesterday, MTN’s largest shareholder, South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation (PIC), said it wanted to meet with Nhleko about his plans to tackle the fine and wants more staff at MTN to take responsibility for the penalty

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“A lot more people need to take collective responsibility for the fine…for the alleged failure to comply with regulatory requirements,” the PIC’s chief executive Daniel Matjila said in a statement.

Shares in MTN have slid by nearly 20 percent since October 26 when the charge was first reported, but were up 1.4 percent at 159.65 rand by yesterday, following news of Nhleko’s appointment.

“The board chose Nhleko because of his vast experience in Nigeria and his indepth knowledge of the company,” MTN’s spokesman Chris Maroleng said.

There are fears that the crisis may affect some of its top management staff, especially the country’s CEO, Michael Ikpoki as well as some other officials.

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