Nairametrics| Phthluma Nhleko was paid $5.6 million for his 16-month tenure as Executive Chairman of the MTN Group. Mr. Nhleko took over the running of the company in November 2015 in the midst of a crisis in its Nigerian arm. MTN Nigeria was fined $5.2 billion in 2015 by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for failing to disconnect unregistered subscribers after the stipulated deadline date.
The MTN Executive Chairman was credited to have negotiated the fine from $5.2 billion to $1 billion. As part of the conditions for settlement, MTN also made a commitment to enlist on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). In addition, Nhleko facilitated the repatriation of the company’s funds in Iraq. The payment to Nhleko, however, exclude the nearly $9 million he made from selling his shares in the company.
This was Mr. Nhleko’s second stint at the telecommunications giant. He had first served as CEO from the early 2000s till 2011. During this period he presided over the company’s expansion across Africa.
Mr. Nhleko may have emerged as the highest paid board member of any company operating in Nigeria in 2016. Dangote Cement which is arguably Nigeria’s closest example of a Pan African company paid its highest earning director N304 million and Aliko Dangote its chairman N5 million. One wonders how a firm that complained of being excessively fined by the NCC was able to pay its Chairman such a hefty sum.
Mr. Nhleko will return to his position as non-executive chairman in April when a new MD takes over.