The Federal Government on Monday, December 21, said it would not be threatened by MTN’s court action against the N780billion (initially N1.4trillion) fine slapped against it by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), insisting that the telecommunications company risks another fine if it fails to pay on deadline.
Mr Adebayo Shittu, the Minister of Communications, made the statement yesterday in reaction to the suit instituted by the telecom operator at a Lagos High Court, weekend.
Speaking through his Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Victor Oluwadamilare, Shittu admitted that MTN had the right to seek court’s interpretation if it feels unsatisfied with the action of the regulator, but nothing would stop the government from imposing additional fine on the operator, at the expiration of the deadline.
“It is the right of MTN to approach the court but there was an infraction, which MTN admitted to have committed before it pleaded for leniency that led to the reduction of the fine from N1.4 trillion to N780 billion and the subsequent December 31, 2015 deadline to pay.
“If it has decided to go to court, it is still within the ambit of the law. I will not intervene, since they have gone to court, we will allow the court to decide if it is right for MTN to commit those infractions and breach the laws of the land,” the statement read.
He said that “it is unwise for MTN to go to court after the Federal Government had magnanimously reduced the fine. It will surely be fined for violating the rule at the expiration of the deadline, should it fail to pay the initial fine.” [NCC]
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