Nigeria’s telecoms regulator, the National Communication Commission, NCC, said MTN Nigeria has now paid about 275 billion out of the total fines it was awarded in 2016.
It would be recalled that MTN Nigeria negotiated with the Nigerian government to cut an initial N1.04 trillion down to N330 billion after several official and diplomatic engagements.
The total payment will leave the company with a balance of N55 billion to be paid to the government. MTN still has a subsisting disagreement with the Nigerian government alleged tax evasion of close to $2 billion. While the case is still in court, there are indications the matter is part of the reason behind the company’s unwillingness to go on an initial public offering, IPO, but opted for a listing by an introduction on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Last week, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc listed on the NSE with a market capitalisation of about N1.8 trillion making it the second largest company after Dangote Cement Plc.
However, the listing has led to several issues and accusations of share price manipulations after various traders, brokers and investing community could not buy the shares, despite seeing more than 20% rise in prices. MTN has denied any wrongdoing saying it is committed to ensuring the availability of its shares to the investing public.
In 2016, MTN was slammed with a landmark fine by the NCC for failing to deactivate over 5 million lines.