N1tr fine: MTN shares continue to slide
MTN Group shares again plunged yesterday at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, moving down by 0.94 per cent, the biggest four-day drop since 2008.
MTN shares have declined by about 20 per cent this week, valuing the company at about 284 billion rand ($21 billion).
The company has been having it rough since Monday when it announced it faces a $5.2 billion fine from the Nigerian telecommunications regulator, NCC.
Meanwhile, a source at NCC told Daily Trust in Abuja yesterday the commission’s senior officials have not met with any delegation from MTN Group in South Africa.
He said “It is not true that MTN Group senior officials have met with us. We have not seen anybody, to the best of my knowledge.”
The Nigerian Communications Commission on Monday fined N1.4trillion for failing to disconnect its subscribers who did not supply the required data during the compulsory SIM cards registration exercise that ended in 2013.
From 2012 when the SIM registration started, anyone buying a SIM card has had to register it under their name by law.
But the telecoms regulator found out in August that the telecoms operators did not carry out the exercise properly on 38.78million subscribers, and they were directed to reregister the subscribers within one month or be sanctioned.
NCC’s Head of Compliance and Monitoring Unit, Efosa Idehene said NCC had identified the defects that made the subscribers’ registration to be incomplete to include poor finger prints, no facial information and other biometric challenges.
A source in NCC said MTN failed to carry out the commission’s directive after repeated warnings, hence the fine.
The fine is the largest in the history of telecom infringements in Nigeria and may redefine the relationships between telecommunications operators and the regulator.
But MTN in a statement Monday said it was in talks with the NCC over the fine and hoped to resolve the matter soon.