The House of Representatives Committee on Telecommunications has insisted that the N1.04 trillion fine slammed on MTN Nigeria by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, must be paid in full, instead of the N780 billion it was reduced to.
It also accused the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, of usurping the powers of the NCC by taking over the negotiations of the MTN $5.2 billion fine.
The Chairman of the committee, Hon. Sajeed Fijabi, said at a meeting with the Minister of Communication, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, and officials of NCC on Wednesday that any negotiation concerning the fine, imposed for not disconnecting unregistered subscriber identification module (sim) cards from their network must be spearheaded by the NCC instead of the AGF.
Addressing the officials of the NCC, Fijabi said there is no room for reduction of the fine as it would set a bad precedence.
“There is nowhere in the law that said there is room for reduction. If you are reducing this now, what happens to Glo and others?…I see MTN going to Court everytime as a way to circumvent the law. In the US, BP paid its full fine for the oil spill…” he said
“Somebody is not allowing you to handle this matter the way you should. After you have imposed the fine, somebody negotiated and reduced it. You imposed the fine, you should take the lead on the negotiations, but now you are being sidelined. You gave them N1.4 trillion fine, and we at the National Assembly have already projected that amount as part of FG revenue,” Fijabi added.
Hon. Ehiozuwa Agbonayinma (Edo PDP) said while the government is interested in attracting foreign investments, they cannot not be allowed to get away with flouting regulations.