South African Telco, MTN to pay N30 Billion fine by March 31

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, telecommunications firm, MTN is expected to pay N30 billion in the next eight days, as part of the N330 billion fine it is currently paying to the Federal Government.

Government had confirmed the earlier payment of N80 billion to its coffers in December last year, as part of the fine, which has been staggered till 2019.

MTN, Nigeria’s largest mobile operator, was initially fined $5.2 billion (N1.04 trillion) in 2015, for failing to deactivate more than five million unregistered subscriber identification module (SIM) cards, some of which were allegedly linked to the Boko Haram insurgents, causing mayhem in the North East.

But following a series of interventions and negotiations, which lasted about six months, including a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, and his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma, in March 2016 in Nigeria, the fine was reduced to N780 billion, and later N330 billion.

According to The Guardian checks, the N30 billion, which is due for payment by March 31st, will put the amount paid so far by the South African company to N110 billion.

The amount paid so far included the “goodwill” payment of N50 billion in December 2015 and another N30 billion on June 10, 2016. In line with terms of the resolution, the balance of N280 billion would be paid by MTN in six tranches between 2016 and May 31, 2019.

Other tranches of the payment include that MTN will pay on March 31, 2017 (N30 billion), March 31, 2018 (N55 billion), December 31, 2018 (N55 billion), March 31, 2019 (N55 billion) and the balance of N55 billion on May 31, 2019. The payments are expected to go into NCC’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

An MTN official, who spoke in confidence with The Guardian on the telephone yesterday, simply said the telecommunications operator is abiding with the terms of the staggered payment pattern.


Source: The Guardian

DND: Any telecoms company that defaults will pay N5m fine per complaint – NCC

Any telecoms service provider that defaults by sending unsolicited SMS or makes unsolicited calls to subscribers after they must have activated the DND – Do Not Disturb feature is liable to pay 5 million Naira as fine per complaints.

This was made known by the the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta at the flagging of ceremony of the #YearOfTelecomConsumer campaign on Wednesday at the commission’s head office in Abuja.

NCC has setup a “2442” Do-Not-Disturb (DND) SMS short code that consumers can use to stop any unsolicited text messages they receive. All the need do is text “STOP” to 2442 and that will automaticall activate a full DND on a consumer’s line & prevent all unsolicited texts from being received

Apart from protecting telecoms consumers from unsolicited ad campaigns via SMS and phonecalls, the campaign hopes to secure the support of network operators towards meeting set targets and key performance indicators, KPIs on quality of services especially as it affects drop calls.


N6 million fine: Arik accuses Nigerian aviation agency of “unprofessional” act

Nigeria’s largest airline, Arik, has accused the country’s aviation authority of “unprofessional” act.

The management of Arik said the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, acted in an ‘unprofessional’ manner by publicising the letter detailing the N6 million fine issued to the airline on Tuesday.

In a statement on Wednesday by the airline’s Public Relations Manager, Adebanji Ola, Arik said that the letter was publicised before it could respond within the deadline given.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had, Tuesday, issued a N6million fine to Arik Air Limited for contravening the provisions of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs).

The agency also ordered the airline to pay its passengers, whose baggage were delayed on the London to Lagos route between December 2 and December 4, $150 each as compensation.

According to a statement signed by the agency’s General Manager, Public Relations, Sam Adurogboye, and obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria, the NCAA’s Letter of Sanction with reference no. NCAA/DG/CSLA/RM/1-06/16/439 and dated December 22, was also sent to
Arik Air.

The statement said the NCAA authority was earlier inundated with complaints of delay and inability to ferry the passengers’ checked–in luggage on the airline’s services from London to Lagos from December 2 to December 4. It said upon receipt of the complaints, the NCAA
invited the airline to a meeting on December 6 which was duly attended by the airlines’ representative. It however said that the NCAA discovered that Arik Air violated Part 19.7.2 and (ii) of the Nig.CARs 2015.

But in its response on Wednesday, Arik Air said that it did everything possible to ensure the London passengers got their baggage in good time.

According to the statement, when the airline’s wide body A330-200 aircraft was damaged by a ground handling truck, it deployed a B737-800 on the London route to minimise the disruption to the passengers.

“All passengers checking in from London were given a letter informing them of the capacity limitation and weight restriction on this aircraft type and advised that some of their baggage would be delayed because of this and transported on the next available flight with capacity. All passengers were accepted on to the flight based on this understanding.

“However, after arriving in Lagos some of them formed pressure groups and took the laws into their own hands disrupting the operations of the airline, assaulting the airline’s employees and destroying its property,” the statement said.

The airline also alleged that some of its employees were beaten and hospitalised, and that the passengers disrupted its operations.

“However, some of the passengers disrupted our operations for several days thereby making it impossible for the aircraft to operate from Lagos and return from London Heathrow before the night
curfew, further preventing the short landed bags from being recovered,” the airline said.

Similarly, the airline alleged that the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, security did nothing to prevent the passengers from disrupting the airline’s operations by providing adequate security to the airline and its personnel to enable the flights to leave on time. It added that their actions prevented a quicker resolution in the recovery of baggage.

“Some FAAN security personnel were also encouraging passengers to disrupt checking-in process and seated themselves on top of Arik Air check-in counters.”

Arik Air however assured its passengers and other industry stakeholders that it would address the issues raised in the NCAA’s letter within the seven days deadline stated in the letter.

Meanwhile, the NCAA in its statement on Tuesday said the N6 million fine must be paid within seven days of receipt of the letter while the $150 compensation to each of the passengers must be made within 30 days.

“The NCAA expects strict compliance with the provisions of Part 19 of the Nig.CARs by the airline in future,” the agency said in a statement.

“This is to assure all stakeholders that the authority exists to protect their rights at all times and as such any violation of the regulation in that regard will be viewed seriously.”

MTN has paid N80bn of N330bn fine, says FG.

The federal government says MTN had paid N80 billion of the N330 billion fine imposed on it for failing to deactivate more than five million unregistered SIM cards.

Adebayo Shittu, minister of communications, disclosed this at a forum organised by NAN in Abuja.

He said the company paid the sum for the first year.

MTN was initially fined 5.2 billion dollars (N1.04 trillion) but it was later reduced to N330 billion.

“For the first year, they paid N80 billion, after paying the initial N50 billion, and they will have to pay for three years until they will complete the N330 billion,” Shittu said.

“MTN does not have a choice, when the law was made, it said for every unregistered SIM card in use, the fine is N200,000, the law never anticipated that one company will be in violation to the tune of millions of lines.

“It was inconceivable, so when the thing was added 200,000 times 5.2 million lines, it came to a trillion plus.

“When it happened, MTN did four things; one they accepted that they were in default, two, they apologised for that and three they committed themselves never to allow such a thing to happen and number four, they asked for remission.

“Government had to look at a number of factors because if they have to pay this amount; they will pack up.

“We also knew that we invited the international community to come and invest and anything that will be done which will shake the confidence of international investors in Nigerian economy, we must avoid it.”

He said the federal government decided to be considerate, explaining there would have been mass job loss if MTN had folded up.

“Consequently, we must not throw away the baby with the bath water, if they had packed up and left, let us assume all their staff are not more than 5, 000, it means all of those 5,000 will lose their jobs,” he said.

“Also those who made investment, who bought shares will lose their shares and the Nigeria banking sector would go into crisis.”

Shittu said even in the court system, if one was fined and could not pay for one reason or the other, the person would ask for reconsideration either by way of appeal or bringing a motion.

MTN denies paying bribe to reduce NCC fine

South Africa’s MTN denied it paid a bribe to Nigerian officials to reduce its fine to 330 billion naira ($1.05bn) as part of settling a dispute over disconnecting unregistered SIM cards in the West African country.


MTN said in a statement on Friday there had been allegations that a top official in the Nigerian presidency took a payment towards reducing the fine.


The telecom group was initially fined $5.2bn last October for failing to deactivate more than five million unregistered SIM cards.


In June, MTN agreed to pay a reduced fine of 330 billion in a settlement with the Nigerian government and said the fine will be paid by MTN Nigeria over three years.

SAHARA REPORTERS: How Buhari’s COS, Abba Kyari Took N500m Bribe To Help MTN Reduce Fine

President Muhammad Buhari has received concrete evidence that his Chief of Staff (CoS), Abba Kyari, took N500m from operators of MTN to help the telecommunications giant mitigate the fine imposed on it by the federal government, SaharaReporters has learned.


Sources say the evidence was presented to President Buhari several times including during the Sallah holiday.


The mind-boggling revelation is the latest in the mounting allegations of corruption involving members of the top echelon of President Buhari’s administration.


Confronted with the evidence, the CoS reportedly claimed he was helping the All Progressives Congress party raise funds for the gubernatorial election in Bayelsa State, to which the president is said to have asked him if he was the party chairman, but did not relieve him of his post.


SaharaReporters has previously revealed several corrupt actions of the Chief of Staff.  They include taking money from Jide Omokore, a shady businessman who was massively involved in corruption in the oil sector in the preceding administration.


Following acceptance of the money, Mr. Kyari reportedly took Mr. Omokore twice to meet President Buhari to enable the businessman to make a promise to refund some of the funds.  A source told Saharareporters Omokore promised to refund N500 million


When Omokore was eventually arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the CoS reportedly told President Buhari that it was the EFCC chair, Ibrahim Magu, who had bungled progress concerning Omokore.  SaharaReporters has also previously reported that Mr. Kyari wants to remove Magu from the anti-graft body in favor of a candidate who is more amenable to his wishes.


On his part, Omokore is also known to have bribed the judge handling the case with $2million.  He was released on bail without leaving the court premises.


Other members of President Buhari’s inner circle have been exposed as engaging in serious cases of corruption but the President has not acted on their cases, either.  In some instances, they reportedly got members of President Buhari’s office to absolve them of any “wrongdoing”.


Among others:


The Chief of Army Staff, Yusuf Buratai, was found to have used Nigerian Army funds to purchase homes in Dubai;
The Minister of Internal Affairs, Abdulrahman Dambazau, bought homes for millions of dollars in Boston in the United States;

Several other aides and officials within the government have been exposed for involvement in illegal employments and forgery of age and certificates.


As in the case of Mr. Kyari, they have so far all been shielded by President Buhari.  Speaking earlier this to journalists in Daura, his hometown, the president said his “anti-corruption war” was being implemented on the basis of justice and fairness.


Source: Sahara Reporters

MTN Agrees To Pay Nigerian $1.7 Billion Fine

South African telecoms giant MTN said Friday it would pay a $1.7 billion fine to the Nigerian government in a “full and final settlement” over its failure to disconnect unregistered mobile phone users.

The company said in a statement that “MTN Nigeria has agreed to pay a total cash amount of Naira 330 billion over three years.”

Africa’s biggest wireless operator was fined $3.9 billion last year and has since been in negotiations with the government over the payout.

Credit: AFP

Confusion Over MTN’s Payment Of N50bn Fine To FG

There was a mild drama yesterday when the Minister of Communication Technology, Adebayo Shittu, distanced the ministry from the negotiation deal which culminated in the payment of N50bn by MTN Nigeria Limited instead of N1.04trn fine imposed on the telecommunications giant by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for SIM deactivation defaults.

Also, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), denied entering any agreement so far with MTN over the fine.

The revelations were made yesterday before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Telecommunications on the heels of the payment of N50bn by MTN to the Federal Government as against as the actual fine imposed on it by the NCC.

The Committee had summoned both ministers, the executive vice chairman of NCC, Prof. Garba Dambatta, and the chief executive officer of MTN over the circumstances surrounding the payment of N50bn by MTN and an alleged offensive letter earlier written to the lawmakers by the MTN CEO.

But the MTN CEO earlier apologised to the committee members and consequently withdrawn the letter as demanded by the lawmakers.

“I will like to say categorically that MTN and I takes this body in high esteem. And I apologise wholeheartedly for not attending the previous meeting. I withdraw the letter the committee is referring to. I beg for your forgiveness,” he said.

For his part, Shittu told the lawmakers that he only got to know about the matter through a letter dated February 3, 2016 addressed to him, Finance Minister and the Accountant-General of the Federation on the settlement proposal by MTN.

Credit: Leadership

NCC Lifts Sanction On MTN Nigeria

Mr Tony Ojobo, the Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), said on Wednesday that the commission had lifted the sanction placed on MTN Nigeria since July 13, 2015.


Ojobo said in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the regulatory sanctions were for 24 identified infractions.


It said that the lifting of the regulatory sanction was in no way related to the Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) card non-deactivation fine.

“This is to confirm that NCC has lifted the regulatory sanctions placed on MTN since July 13, 2015.

“The sanctions were for 24 identified infractions which are not in any way connected with the SIM card non-deactivation fine.

“These were a number of violations discovered by the Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Team of the commission in June 2015.

“Consequent upon the inability of MTN to remedy the identified infractions, the commission invoked the sanction in its guidelines,’’ the statement quoted Ojobo as saying.


It said that the sanction meant the denial of regulatory services to the telecommunications company for failing to remedy the infractions in line with NCC’s regulations.


According to the statement, consequent upon the remediation of the 24 infractions by MTN, the regulatory body’s letter of March 14, 2016, informed the company of its decision to lift the regulatory sanction.


“It should be noted that this does not in any way extend to the fine for non-deactivation of SIM card case.

“The case of SIM card deactivation is an entirely different infraction, which is mutually exclusive to the 24 infractions now remedied.

“This has become necessary in view of the many enquiries being received from concerned stakeholders.
“This action is without prejudice to the matter which is presently in court. Please be guided accordingly,’’ it quoted Ojobo as saying.



MTN Asks Court To Quash $3.9bn Fine

South African telecoms giant, MTN, has filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Lagos to challenge the $3.9 billion fine imposed on it by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), urging the court to quash the fine.

last October slammed the telecoms firm with a fine of $5.2 billion for failing to disconnect unregistered subscribers. The initial fine was later reduced by 25 per cent to $3.9 billion earlier this month, with a payment deadline set for December 31.

But MTN through its team of lawyers – Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Mr. Tanimola Molajo (SAN), Mr. A.B. Mahmoud (SAN), Dr. Gbolahan Elias (SAN), Mr. Oladipo Okpeseyi (SAN), Prof. Fabian Ajogwu (SAN) and Dr. Oladapo Olanipekun (SAN) – is challenging the powers of NCC to impose such a fine on it.

The telecoms company is arguing that on the basis that NCC, being a regulator, cannot assume all the functions of the state on its own, considering the fact that they made the regulation, prescribed the penalty and imposed the fine payable to the commission and not the federal government.

The firm is also contending that it was not afforded its constitutional right of fair hearing before a court of competent jurisdiction and more importantly, it had not been found guilty of any offence that will warrant it to pay such an outrageous fine.

It is of the view that the sanction imposed on it by NCC was applied within 24 hours of its written submission on the disconnection exercise and the impractical nature of the NCC deadline.

Stating that the deadline of seven days to disconnect 5.2 million subscribers was grossly inadequate and impracticable, the telecoms company said the deadline to disconnect 5.2 million subscribers was unfair and ran contrary to the requirement to give adequate notice to the subscribers and all operators.

Credit: Thisday

Why We Reduced MTN’s N1.04trn Fine– NCC

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has defended its action to reduce the N1.04 trillion fine on MTN Nigeria to N780 billion, saying it acted in the interest of the stability of the telecom sector.

The commission said it weighed all pros and cons and arrived at a decision it considered favourable to all concerned.

Director public Affairs of the NCC, Mr Tony Ojobo, said that after considering the operator’s admission of guilt, huge investment in the country, the large subscriber base and Nigeria being its largest market, the decision to arrive at the reduction was not too difficult.

According to Ojobo, “MTN wrote the commission, acknowledged that there has been an infraction and are now pleading for leniency . In the past we have also had people plead for leniency on their sanctions. At that time, of course the NCC board has not been constituted, no Minister, the authority of the president was required for such a decision to be taken in the absence of the minister, and so the commission had to notify the presidency.

“The stakeholders looked at it with all the pros and cons and reduced the fine by 25 percent. We are aware and conscious of the level of investment MTN has made in this market; they have the largest number of subscribers, it is also important to know that Nigeria remains their biggest market. We have taken all into considerations, and that was what even informed the discussion in the first place. Weighing all of these issues, is why this action has been taken”.

Credit: Vanguard

President Buhari To Have Final Say On Decision For MTN N1.4 trillion Fine

It appears the onus if on President Muhammadu Buhari, to take a decision on the issue of the N1.4 trillion fine imposed on MTN Nigeria bu the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC).

Adebayo Shittu, the Minister of Communications, made this disclosure on Tuesday, at the Alliance 4 Affordable Internet Nigeria Coalition conference in Lagos.

He said the fine imposed on MTN was in the interest of Nigerians, adding that the telecommunications company had already apologised, and the President is now expected to decide on what happens.

“I don’t think there is any conflicting position on where government stands on the MTN issue. Recall that there were violations which were established against MTN.

“The violations were to the tune of five million subscribers. There are many countries where subscribers, in the entire country, are not up to half of the five million. In the case of Nigeria, we had more than five million violations.

“However, both the government and MTN are on the same page that rules have been broken in this instance.

“The issue is now before Mr President. He will take the necessary decision at the appropriate time. And the President would do what is best for the public interest,“ the Minister said.

“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 apologized for their role in the saga and they made a commitment that what happened will never happen again. And of course, they made a plea for review of the payment terms,” he said.

‘MTN Must Respect Laws Of Host Countries’ – South African Deputy President

South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged Africa’s biggest mobile-phone company, the MTN Group Ltd., to follow the rules in countries where it is operating.

This followed a fine of $5.2 billion imposed on MTN by telecoms industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), for failing to disconnect customers with unregistered phone cards.

NCC gave MTN until November 16 to pay the fine, which relates to the timing of the disconnection of 5.1 million subscribers and is based on a charge of N200,000 ($1,005) for each unregistered

Nigeria is the Johannesburg-based MTN’s biggest market with 62 million clients as of September.

The company’s shares have slumped 14 per cent since October 26, when the fine was imposed.
Ramaphosa, in an address to lawmakers in Cape Town yesterday, said the government would be taking note of what “is happening with a view of seeing how the company involved responds and reacts” to its challenges.

“We would like our companies to comply with the laws and regulations of countries where they operate, without violating them.

“It does seem like in the case of Nigeria, there were issues, and those issues need to be addressed.

“If this fine is indeed imposed as it is, it is going to impact on South Africa as well, as our revenue fortunes from a taxation point of view are going to be lower,” he said.

Agency reports indicated that comments by Ramaphosa, a former chairman of MTN, suggested that South African authorities might leave MTN to face its problem as it seeks to have the penalty reduced.

South African authorities might also be reluctant to confront their Nigerian counterparts following a series of diplomatic spats that have soured relations between the Africa’s two biggest economies.

The most recent occurred in April, when Nigeria’s government allegedly ordered its two most senior diplomats in South Africa to return home for consultations following a wave of attacks against immigrants, including Nigerians, in Johannesburg and Durban.

“South Africa does not have a track record of defending its national company champions internationally,” Nic Borain, a political analyst, who advises BNP Paribas Cadiz Securities, said by phone.

“On the face of it, this fine seems seriously over the top. Ramaphosa’s words about the issue seem weak as they veer too much on the side of caution,” he added.

South Africa’s telecommunication and finance ministries didn’t respond to agency’s calls and e-mails seeking comment.

Lawmakers plan to summon MTN officials to explain why the company was fined, Nkhensani Kubayi, chairwoman of Parliament’s telecommunications committee, said by phone from Cape Town.

The panel will also ask the South African industry regulator to determine whether MTN is compliant with local rules, with hearings likely to take place next year, she said.

Source: The Nation

Chinese Company To Fine Workers Who Get Pregnant Without Permission

A Chinese company plans to demand its employees seek approval to get pregnant and fine those who conceive a child without permission, reports said, provoking a media firestorm Friday.

“Only married female workers who have worked for the company for more than one year can apply for a place on the birth planning schedule,” read a policy distributed by a credit cooperative in Jiaozuo, in the central province of Henan.

“The employee must strictly stick to the birth plan once it is approved,” it added. “Those who get pregnant in violation of the plan such that their work is affected will be fined 1,000 yuan ($161),” it said.

Read More: punchng

Religious Campaigns Will Be Fined 1M- INEC

INEC in Bauchi State has issued a stern warning to any political party using religion as part of their campaign.

The statement, made during an interactive session with stakeholders in local government, has warned parties that they will be issued with a N1 million or face a 12 month prison sentence should they use religion as a tactic during campaign season.

The warning comes hot on the heels of allegations made against politicians who allegedly threatened PDP supporters in Darazo Local Government, based on their choice of presidential candidate.

According to Emmanuel Umenger, INEC Administrative Secretary in the State, electioneering campaigns based on religious sentiments provided grounds for political parties to be prosecuted.

Read More: Vanguard