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Nigerian regulator confirms MTN paid $250 mln in fine dispute

Last week, the mobile network announced it would make the down payment towards the $3.9bn fine.

A vendor sells MTN airtime at an MTN office in Abuja, Nigeria. Picture: EPA/Tony Nwosu.
Nigeria,MTN,MTN Group,MTN in Nigeria
Business World Local

ABUJA – Nigeria’s Communications Commission (NCC) said on Monday South African cellphone network operator MTN has paid $250 million towards a possible settlement following the regulator’s claim for $3.9 billion in fines for failing to disconnect unregistered SIM users in time.

A week ago, the telecoms firm withdrew its legal action against Nigeria’s regulator over the fine, and announced the payment of $250 million.

A judge in Lagos last month gave both parties until 18 March to reach a settlement, after MTN had asked the court to arbitrate over the dispute, saying the NCC had no legal grounds to order the fine.

It said in a statement that negotiations to settle were continuing.

Nigeria has been trying to halt the widespread use of unregistered SIM cards amid worries they are being used for criminal activity, including by the Islamist group Boko Haram.

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