The federal government has insisted that mobile giant MTN must pay substantial part of the N780 billion fine imposed on it by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
The Minister of Communications and Technology, Adebayo Shittu, said MTN violated the subscriber identity module (SIM) registration guideline infractions for which it accepted responsibility and wrote a letter of apology, promising to be a responsible corporate citizen.
He said the violations were committed under the Dr. Goodluck Jonathan administration but the government failed to penalise the telecommunications company.
MTN was sactioned about $5.1billion or N1.7 trillion for fraudulently keeping some 5.2million preregistered SIMs on its network – a development analysts said amounted to sabotage in view of the security challenges facing the country.
A Federal High Court in Lagos adjourned till March 18, the suit filed by MTN Nigeria challenging the 1.04 trillion Naira fine imposed on it by the Nigerian Communication Commission.
MTN had in December 2015 filed the suit through its lawyers led by Wole Olanipekun (SAN), arguing that the NCC being a regulator, cannot assume all the functions of the state on its own, considering the fact that they made the regulation, prescribed the penalty and imposed the fine, which is payable to the commission and not the Federal Government.