By Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
THE House of Representatives Committee on Telecommunications yesterday said MTN must pay the N1. 04 trillion fine slammed against it by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) for SIM deactivation default.
The NCC had last year imposed the fine, saying the MTN was slow in disconnecting subscribers with unregistered and incomplete Subscriber Identification Modules (SIM) cards within the stipulated time.
The committee also summoned Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to the President and Attorney- General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Mallam (SAN) following a revelation by the NCC that the N50 billion so far paid by the MTN wasn’t in its coffers.
Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, told lawmakers yesterday that the money was not paid into NCC‘s account.
“I do not know the account where the money was paid into”, he said, adding, “The commission only received a letter from the Attorney-General of the Federation indicating that MTN had paid the amount into the Federal Government account”.
Earlier, Chairman of the Committee on Telecommunications, Saheed Akinade-Fijabi, said payment of the fine will redefine the relationship between telecommunications operators and the regulator.
A member of the committee, Johnson Agbonayinman, said the MTN violated Sections 19 and 20 of the Telephone Subscribers Regulations under the Communications Act 2010.
He said: “Section 19 of the Act reads: Any licensee, who fails to capture, register, deregister or transmit the details of every individual or corporate subscriber to the central data base as specified in the regulation or as may be stipulated from time to time by the commission is liable to a penalty of N200,000 for each subscription medium.”