Following a negotiated reduction of the N1.04 trillion fine on MTN Nigeria to N330 billion and in line with the staggered payment arrangement, MTN has, so far, paid N275 billion to the Federal Government.Part of the fallout of the negotiated terms of payment of the fine is the listing of MTN on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), and this is being done.
What this means, according to the staggered arrangement, is that May 31, 2019 would be the deadline for the telecoms’ firm to pay the sixth and final tranche of the balance of N55 billion.After six months of negotiation and re-negotiation over the fine, which led to the reduction, it was agreed that MTN would pay a balance of N280 billion in six tranches. This was in addition to the “goodwill” payment of N50 billion earlier made by MTN to the government.
Specifically, MTN began the payment structure with the payment of N30 billion into NCC’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) 30 days from the date of the agreement dated June 10, 2016.
The balance and final tranche of the payment, according to a statement from NCC yesterday, will be paid by May 31, 2019 in line with the staggered payments structure agreed by MTN and Nigerian government.
The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, who spoke on the state of MTN’s fine payment at the valedictory service organised for the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, in Abuja on Monday, said the commission had succeeded in empowering Nigerians “to control, manage and own telecommunications companies in Nigeria by owning shares in MTN Nigeria.”Danbatta said that through the MTN’s listing on the NSE, the commission had translated into action an important function of the commission, which is to promote local investment and ownership in the telecoms sector.
According to him, “by MTN’s listing on the stock exchange, we have given reality to that important function of the commission. Through this listing, Nigerians will be empowered to control, own and manage one of the dominant telecommunications’ firms in the country.
“With MTN shares available in the capital market, Nigerians will buy shares and by purchasing the shares of MTN, they will be financially empowered and be socially transformed. We consider this a very important milestones in translating the function of the commission into reality as enshrined in the Nigerian Communications Act 2003.”