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NCC Confirms Receipt of N50 Billion from MTN

A person speaks on a mobile phone at the MTN headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Friday, May 29, 2009. MTN Group Ltd. ’s second-largest shareholder, the Mikati family, supports a proposed $23 billion cash and share swap deal with India’s Bharti Airtel Ltd., Reuters reported, citing Azmi Mikati, chief executive officer of the family’s M1 Group. Photographer: Nadine Hutton/Bloomberg News

The Nigerian Communications Commission on Monday confirmed Federal Government’s receipt of the N50 billion from MTN Nigeria Communications Limited towards settlement of the fine imposed on the telecommunications firm.

The commission also confirmed that MTN has withdrawn its suit from the court.

A statement signed by NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Mr. Tony Ojobo, said the commission received official information on the two developments from the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice respectively on Monday.

The statement reads; “The amount is an unconditional good faith payment, on the basis that this sum would be applied towards eventual settlement agreement for payment of the fine imposed by the commission.

“The Federal Government’s team for the negotiations is being led by the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), while MTN team is led by former U.S Attorney General, and Head of Covington & Burling LLP, Washington DC, Mr. Eric H. Holder, Jr.

“The receipt of the amount and withdrawal of the suit is without prejudice to the final decision of government on the terms of payment being proposed by the company.

“On the basis of out of court settlement, the Federal Government team, is expected to deliberate on the merits and demerits of the terms of payment of the fine imposed on MTN by the commission for its failure to deactivate invalid SIM Cards as directed by the commission, thereby contravening the provisions of the regulation on SIM Card Registration.”

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