The National telecommunications’ regulator, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), has hit mobile network provider, MTN Nigeria, with a $5billion (N980 billion) fine for failing to disconnect subscribers with unregistered sim cards bought before January 2012.
According to information gathered, from the above mentioned date, anyone buying a sim card in Nigeria has had to register it under their name by law.
When contacted, Funsho Aina, MTN’s Public Relation Manager, confirmed the fine but said the company was preparing a statement to be released later on Monday.
He said MTN is a law abiding company that would not do anything that contradicted NCC’s Acts.
“Yes, it is true we aware but we are doing a statement which will be sent out to you soon. As soon as our boss approves it, we will send it to you. We are law abiding and we have always done our business within the confine of the Acts,” he said.
This fine is the largest in the history of telecom infringements in Nigeria and may redefine the relationship between telecommunications operators and the regulator as Nigerians continue to complain about poor services from mobile network operators and blame the regulators for not doing enough to solve the problem.