Barring last-minute change of decision on the part of government, MTN Nigeria is expected to pay up the N1.04 trillion imposed on it in the next seven days.
The telecoms company had been fined $5.2 billion for failing to de-active 5.1 million unregistered SIM cards on its network.
NCC had set November 16 deadline for the telecoms company to pay up the fine. The penalty relates to the timing of the disconnection of 5.1 million subscribers and is based on a charge of N200,000 ($1,005) for each unregistered customer.
“Well, to the best of my knowledge, the November 16 date remains sacrosanct and I am not aware of any decision regarding a change in date,” a top management source told New Telegraph.
“So, I want to believe that MTN has just seven days left, up until Monday next week to pay the fine, except there is anything to the contrary in the course of talks this week.”
MTN continues talks with government authorities in Nigeria for a soft landing, a source at MTN, privy to the development, said on Sunday.
MTN Group is trying to reduce a $5.2 billion fine imposed by Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator by as much as 80 per cent and is considering borrowing money from banks to help settle the penalty, said Bloomberg, quoting Renaissance Capital.
“MTN is pushing to reduce the fine by 60 per cent to 80 per cent,” Adesoji Solanke, RenCap’s head of research in Nigeria, said in a note to clients on Wednesday, citing a bank he didn’t identify.
A second lender said that “MTN is considering borrowing from banks, as it recently checked what the banks’ lending capacity to it is,” the analyst said.
“We don’t comment on banking matters and banking regulators in Nigeria are best placed to provide context on these matters,” MTN spokesman, Chris Maroleng, said by phone.
“I don’t have that information,” Tony Ojobo, a spokesman for NCC, said in a text message.