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MTN Fine Slashed To $3.4 Billion, Nigeria CEO Resigns

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Nigerian authorities, on Wednesday, slashed the $5.2 billion fine imposed to MTN by a third to $3.4 billion and gave the South African Telecommunications Company till December 31, 2015 to pay it, the Company has said.

Recall that the Nigerian Communications Commission handed the Johannesburg based a $5.2 billion fine in October for failing to cut off unregistered SIM cards from its network.

The fine prompted MTN to hold talks with the NCC over the past five weeks seeking a reduction.

The Nigerian Communications Commission decided to reduce the levy after considering the request from the Telecom Company.

The statement read: “After further engagements with the Nigerian authorities, the NCC has reduced the imposed fine.”

In a response, MTN said it is carefully considering the NCC’s reply, but added that Executive Chairman Phuthuma Nhleko “will immediately and urgently re-engage with the Nigerian authorities before responding formally,” to ensure the best-possible outcome for the company. MTN advised shareholders to continue to exercise caution when dealing in the company’s securities.

Meanwhile, the MTN’s Nigerian chief executive officer Michael Ikpoki has resigned, he handed in his resignation with immediate effect. MTN Nigeria’s head of regulatory and corporate affairs, Akinwale Goodluck, has also resigned.

MTN named Ferdi Moolman, the former CEO of the company’s Iran unit and most recently the chief financial officer of MTN Nigeria, as head of the Lagos-based operations, replacing Michael Ikpoki.

The company decided to reinstate its previous reporting structures to boost oversight, leadership and compliance across 22 countries in Africa and the Middle East, the company said in a separate statement.

Jyoti Desai will be group chief operating officer, based in Johannesburg, while Karl Toriola will be vice president for the West and central African region and Ismail Jaroudi will play the same role for the Middle East and North Africa. Amina Oyagbola replaces Akinwale Goodluck as head of regulatory and corporate affairs in Nigeria.

MTN is Africa’s largest telecommunications company with 233 million subscribers in 22 countries across the world.