The Federal Government will suspend further negotiations with South Africa’s MTN over a $3.9 billion fine for missing a deadline to disconnect unregistered SIM card users until the House of Representatives concludes a probe,
Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu told pressmen after the Federal Executive Council meeting, held at the Presidential Villa on Wednesday.
The House of Representatives had last month launched a probe into whether Nigeria can reduce the fine, which had originally amounted to $5.2 billion. In December, telecoms regulator NCC reduced the fine to $3.9 billion.
The investigations has hindered efforts by MTN to launch new talks aimed at getting the fine reduced further.
According to Shittu, “As soon as the ongoing investigations are concluded we will sit down with them (MTN)”
The House of Representatives launched its investigation after MTN angered lawmakers by snubbing an invitation to its Nigeria Chief Executive Ferdi Moolman to appear at the telecoms committee, according to the lawmakers.
MTN offered in March to pay $1.5 billion. It dropped a legal case against the regulator (NCC) as the first step in its efforts to reach an out of court settlement.