Nigeria Govt ‘Not Aware’ Of MTN’s Out-Of-Court Settlement Offer – Minister

By Kevin Mwanza Published: January 27, 2016, 1:31 pm

According to Daily Trust, Nigeria’s minister of communication has said the federal government is “not aware” of offer to settle MTN’s record $3.9 billion fine out of court and has asked the telecom operators to drop its legal action to help facilitate talks.

MTN is fighting to have the fine levied on it by the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) in October last year, for allowing unregistered SIM cards on its network after a September deadline expired, withdrawn.

The fine, which is more than twice the operator’s annual average capital spending in the last five years, was reduce from an initial $5.2 billion.

On Friday a Nigerian court postponed its hearing to allow both parties to see if they can settle out of court.

“We are not aware of any out of court settlement on the issue. We will not accept out of court settlement until MTN willingly discontinue the case,” Adebayo Shittu said at a press conference.

Shittu told The Guardian there could not be an out-of-court settlement unless the South African-based withdraws the case from the court “so that government will not be put under any pressure whatsoever”.

“If the case is out-of-court, the President [of Nigeria] will take a decision. But for now, I am not aware of any out-of-court settlement.”

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