MTN are ready to settle out of court, over the $3.9 billion fine imposed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), a top regulatory official confirmed to Reuters on Wednesday.
This statement opens up the possibility of an end to the dispute between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Telecoms giant MTN, which has been on since October last year.
Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, said on Tuesday, that the Federal Government expects no out-of-court settlement with MTN over the $3.9 billion fine, unless MTN withdraws its lawsuit.
NCC was however told late on Tuesday that MTN wanted an out-of-court deal, its executive vice chairman Umar Garba Danbatta said.
“Our lawyers communicated to us that indeed MTN is resorting to a settlement out of court,” Danbatta told reporters. “They (MTN) are trying to get this settled amicably.
“We have been since then informed by our own counsel that the honourable judge has granted the request for a settlement on the matter,” he said.
“The intention is not to kill MTN. We would like the industry to continue. We would like it to be vibrant and I think this is a matter that needs to be resolved amicably and we are working towards that,” he told Reuters.
Mr Shittu also said that President Muhammadu Buhari will have the final decision on the matter.