The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC has fined South Africa’s MTN 1.04 trillion naira ($5.24 bln) after it failed to comply with a directive to deactivate unregistered phone lines before a deadline, it said on Monday.
The Nigerian Communications Commission said all other telecom firms operating in the country complied with the directive except MTN, Africa’s biggest mobile phone company, a spokesman for the regulator, Tony Ojobo said.
The regulator said MTN, whose biggest market is Nigeria, has not denied the infraction and that its enforcement team deactivated 5.2 million unregistered lines to ensure compliance. MTN was fined N200,000 for each of the 5.1 million customers that were disconnected following the sim card registration fiasco.
This by our records is the biggest corporate fine ever imposed by a regulator in any sector of the Nigerian economy. The effect of the fine has also hit hard on the company as its share price fell by more than 12 percent, the biggest one-day decline since November 1998, to 167 rand. That’s the lowest closing price since June 2013 and values the company at 308 billion rand ($23 billion).