Leading telecommunications company, MTN has paid N235 billion in fines based on the settlement agreement reached with Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC.
Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof Umar , confirmed in an interview with journalists said emanating from the major industry dispute, Nigerians now had the opportunity to own part of the mobile telecommunications network following the public listing of the company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange last Thursday.
“We have succeeded in empowering Nigerians to own, control and manage one of the dominant telecommunications companies in the country by MTN listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
“This is arising from the settlement agreement reached with MTN through the payment of N330bn to the government coffers of which they have paid N235bn thereby remaining the last tranche.
“MTN has been listed on the NSE and Nigerians can now buy shares and through this Nigerians will be financially empowered and socially transformed,” Dambatta said on the sidelines of the valedictory press conference by the Minister of Communications in Abuja.
NCC had in October 2015 imposed a fine of N1.04tn on MTN for irregular registration of 5.2 million subscribers.
However, after prolonged negotiation with both the regulatory agency and the Federal Government, the company had the fine reduced to N330bn.
Public listing was one of the conditions arrived with the telecommunications company originating from South Africa before the Federal Government agreed to reduce the penalty to N330bn.
It also agreed to spread the payment of the fine in tranches over a period of three years.
For the telecommunications company, the road to public listing had been bumpy but the pledge was fulfilled last week when more than 20 billion shares of the company were listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange at N90 per share.