Monday, 8 August 2016

How Buhari's intervention saved MTN from going bankrupt

Nigeria’s minister of communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu has revealed that the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari saved telecommunications giant, MTN from bankruptcy.


MTN had been fined N780 billion naira by the federal government, but after negotiations, the fine was reduced to N333 billion.
The company had been fined for failing to disconnect 5.1 million mobile lines not registered by the firm. The fine will be paid over a space of six years.
In an interview with The Guardian over the weekend, Shittu opined that if the government had ensure strict enforcement of the initial fine, it would have crippled the company, leading to loss of jobs, investments and unpleasant consequences for the Nigerian economy.
His words:“President Buhari saved MTN from bankruptcy, because of his intervention in reducing drastically the hefty fine imposed on the telecom giant.
“If as telecommunication operators, there are laws that forbids you from selling GSM lines without registering them and there are also rules that proclaim certain amount as fines for doing so (in this case, N200, 000 per each unregistered line) and you still go ahead to sell millions of lines after the fact, you should be ready to face the music.
“It is true that Nigerians have bought MTN shares, a lot of Nigerians are employed by MTN and that a lot of people might suffer due to the loss posted last week by the company because of the fine. It however, doesn’t mean we have to tolerate their negligence.”
Shittu urged companies operating in the telecommunications sector to show commitment and abide by the rules put in place by government.
Meanwhile, MTN has announced that it will ensure the listing of its shares in the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
“The relationship between MTN, the Nigerian government and the Nigerian Communications Commission has been restored and strengthened,”Phuthuma Nhleko, chairman of MTN group said before he resigned just after negotiations.
In a related development, rumours that the National Assembly is set to go against President Buhari for intervening in the settlement processsurfaced in the media four months ago, but nothing has since been heard on the matter again.

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