MTN has been ordered to pay the $3.9 billion fine by Dec.31, a source in the Nigerian Communications Commission confirmed to Reuters.
NCC had cut the fine from an initial $5.2 billion after weeks of lobbying by MTN to get it reduced.
The source also confirmed that appropriate action will be taken should MTN fail to meet the deadline. This follows MTN’s decision to challenge the decision in court.
In another twist however, a spokesperson of the NCC also confirmed to Reuters again that they will await the outcome of the court decision and as such will not be fixing any deadline.
“The federal government, NCC (regulator) or any government agent will not do anything at the expiration of the Dec 31 deadline that MTN had to pay the fine,” the spokesman said.
“Now that they (MTN) have gone to court we will await the outcome of the case,”
It appears though that the Government may well be looking for a way to end the embarrassment this fine has caused and may well be happy for the court to settle it. That way they can placate hawkish elements in the government and those against the fine in the event that the court rules in favor of or against MTN.