The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, said on Tuesday that President Muhammadu Buhari would decide MTN Nigeria’s fate regarding the N1.04tn fine imposed on it by the Nigerian Communications Commission.
He stated that the President would take the final decision on the matter at the appropriate time and “in the public interest.”
The minister also said that Buhari’s decision would be on the basis that the “government and MTN are on the same page that rules had been broken in this instance.”
Shittu stated this on the sidelines of the Alliance 4 Affordable Internet Nigeria Coalition Conference in Lagos, according to an online publication, Technology Times.
“The issue is now before Mr. President. He will take the necessary decision at the appropriate time. I think Nigerians will expect that Mr. President would do the best to ensure that the public interest is guaranteed,” he said.
The minister dismissed reports that the government was negotiating with the MTN Group and was considering slashing the fine, saying there was no conflicting position on where the government stood on the matter.
Shittu noted, “Recall that there were violations, which were established against MTN. The violations were to the tune of five million (unregistered SIM cards). That is a whole lot.
“There are many countries where subscribers are not up to half of five million. In the case of Nigeria, we had more than five million violations. The good thing is that MTN did not contest the fact that they had violated the regulations and guidelines. They never contested it. They admitted they were at fault.
“They apologised for their role in the saga and they made a commitment that what happened would never happen again. And of course, they made a plea for the review of the payment terms.”