The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has given November 16 to MTN Nigeria as deadline date to pay the fine imposed on the telecoms company for failing to register the personal details of 5.1 million subscribers.
The deadline came on the heels of the South Africa’s stock exchange, JSE Ltd’s launch of an investigation into the timing of the operator’s announcement of its penalty.
In an earlier report, Tony Ojobo, spokesman for the Nigerian Communications Commission, the country’s telecoms regulatory agency, was quoted as saying that the outcome of the discussion may affect the date.
According to a statement by MTN, the telecoms company said its CEO is still in talks with the Nigerian authorities and its senior management and advisers also talking to JSE, after the announcement of the fine knocked around 20 percent off the company’s stock price.
The MTN spokesperson said, ‘‘That’s why they are having the discussion so that they can reach a solution.”
Nigeria’s presidency and internal security agency are also involved in the talks, the report also said.
On the JSE probe, Andre Visser, head of the regulatory division, said, “the investigation will follow due process to establish whether there have been any breaches of the listings requirements and can be a lengthy process.”
The South African capital markets rules requires that companies are to immediately warn shareholders of price-sensitive information.
Reports have however shown that Fitch Ratings has revised MTN Group’s outlook to negative, owing “to the risk of a significant cash outflow due to a substantial fine imposed on MTN’s Nigerian operations, which could increase leverage and pressure MTN’s credit metrics.”
By Patrick Aigbokhan