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MTN still in talks on Nigerian fine


MTN Nigeria is still engaging with the Nigerian authorities in an attempt to ensure an amicable resolution to the matter of its massive fine.
The company was reacting to reports in the media that the telecommunications operator had proposed a $1,5-billion settlement.
“MTN has previously advised shareholders not to make decisions based on press reports and again urges its shareholders to refrain from doing so,” it says in a statement on the Stock Exchange News Services (SENS).
Late last year, MTN Nigeria was fined N780-bbillion (equivalent to approximately $3,9-billion using the exchange rate at the time) because of the late disconnection of approximately 5,1-million subscribers whose registration documents were considered incomplete.
On 17 December 2015, MTN Nigeria proceeded with legal action in the Federal High Court in Lagos challenging the fine. On 22 January 2016, the matter was adjourned by the judge to allow parties to find an amicable solution. On 24 February 2016, MTN Nigeria made a without prejudice good faith payment of N50-billion (equivalent to approximately $250-million) to the Federal Government of Nigeria, on the basis that this will be applied towards a settlement, when one is eventually hopefully arrived at. In an effort to achieve an amicable settlement, MTN Nigeria, without prejudice, agreed to withdraw the matter from the Federal High Court.
MTN Nigeria recorded a R9,287-billion provision for the fine at the end of the reporting period, negatively impacting reported EBITDA by 13,6% and HEPS by 402 cents.