MTN fine: NCC acted in public interest
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that it acted in the public interest in the fine against MTN, Nigeria.
The NCC emphasised that the clarification has become necessary following the diverse interest expressed by members of the public as to what actually transpired.
The Telecom’s Regulator explained that the fine was a result of violation of Section 20(1) of the Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulation of 2011.
The director, public affairs of NCC Tony Ojobo said in a statement that Section 20 (1) of Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations 2011 states that: “Any licensee who activates or fails to deactivate a subscription medium in violation of any provision of these Regulations is liable to a penalty of N200,000.00 for each unregistered but activated subscription medium.”
The Telecom’s Regulator explained further in the statement that the fine of N1.04Trillion on MTN Nigeria by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) was done in the interest of the public which has been at the receiving end of security challenges.
“Consequent upon the overwhelming evidence of non-compliance, and obvious disregard to the rule of engagement by MTN, the NCC had no choice but to impose the sanctions,” the statement said.
Ojobo said MTN on November 2, 2015 admitted the infraction and pleaded for leniency.
According to him. the Commission has acknowledged this and is looking into their plea without any prejudice to the fine.
“The fine remains but the appeal and other engagements with MTN may affect the payment deadline.
The fine that was imposed on MTN was the second within two months after the operators were given a seven-day ultimatum to deactivate all unregistered and improperly registered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) Cards. While others complied, MTN did not”, Ojobo noted
On August 4, 2015, at a meeting of all the representatives of the Mobile Network Operators (MNO), with NCC, major security challenges through registered, unregistered and improperly registered SIM Cards topped the agenda after which Operators were given the ultimatum to deactivate such within seven days, Ojobo said.
He maintained that:” On August 14, 2015, three days after the ultimatum expired, NCC carried out a network audit, while other operators complied with the directive, to deactivate the improperly registered SIM Cards, MTN showed no sign of compliance at all.
Please recall that four Operators; MTN, Airtel, Globacom and Etisalat, were sanctioned in August for none compliance of the directive to deactivate the improperly registered SIM Cards. MTN got a fine of N102.2Million, Globacom N7.4Million, Etisalat N7Million and Airtel N3.8Million fine. Others complied while MTN flouted the fine.”