NSA takes over MTN N1tr case

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Zakariyya Adaramola, Ade­lanwa Bamg­boye & Musa Ab­dul­lahi Kr­ishi

The Of­fice of Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser (ONSA) has taken over the $5.2bil­lion fine is­sue against MTN from the Nige­rian Communications Com­mis­sion (NCC), Daily Trust has learnt.

Sources told Daily Trust in Abuja yes­ter­day that the MTN/ NCC N1.04tril­lion fine is­sue was be­yond NCC as the Pres­i­dency was now treat­ing the case as a na­tional se­cu­rity is­sue which is be­ing han­dled by ONSA.

This came as NCC yes­ter­day gave MTN up to Novem­ber 16, 2015 to pay the penalty or risked more se­vere sanc­tions, which may in­clude sus­pen­sion of li­cense, Daily Trust heard.

A se­nior fed­eral gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial told our reporter that “ONSA took over the case be­cause it was dis­cov­ered that MTN de­lib­er­ately wanted to sab­o­tage the fight against kid­nap­ping and in­se­cu­rity by re­fus­ing to dis­con­nect 5.2mil­lion un­reg­is­tered peo­ple on its net­work.”

How­ever, an Abuja based lawyer, Bar­ris­ter Abubakar Sani has be­rated the NCC over the fine slammed on MTN Nige­ria by Nige­ria Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Com­mis­sion over un­reg­is­tered sub­scribers on MTN net­work.

Speak­ing dur­ing a tele­phone chat with our cor­re­spon­dent yes­ter­day, Abubakar Sani said that the fine was ex­ces­sive.

Mean­while, the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives has passed a res­o­lu­tion to in­ves­ti­gate the Nige­ria Communications (NCC) and four ser­vice providers over al­leged non­com­pli­ance with the direc­tive to de­ac­ti­vate un­reg­is­tered sub­scribers un­der the Sub­scriber Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Mod­ule (SIM) cards.

The four ser­vice providers to be in­ves­ti­gated are MTN, Air­tel, Glo and Eti­salat. The House passed the res­o­lu­tion af­ter adopt­ing a mo­tion by Rep Olu­wole Oke (PDP, Osun).

The House said that de­spite the direc­tive to ser­vice providers to reg­is­ter all sub­scribers on their net­works, the four ser­vice providers are yet to do such.

Sim­i­larly, the House would probe NCC over the N6.1 bil­lion ap­pro­pri­ated for SIM reg­is­tra­tion ex­er­cise by the Na­tional As­sem­bly in 2011.

Sup­port­ing the mo­tion, Mi­nor­ity Leader Leo Ogor (PDP, Delta), sought for an amend­ment to the orig­i­nal mo­tion, say­ing there was need to in­ves­ti­gate NCC’s N6.1 bil­lion for SIM reg­is­tra­tion, which was adopted.

Giv­ing the breakdown of sub­scribers not cap­tured by the four ser­vice providers as at De­cem­ber, 2014, Rep Oke said MTN had 18.6 mil­lion, Eti­salat, 9.46 mil­lion, Air­tel, 7.4 mil­lion and Glo, 2.33 mil­lion.

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