The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has explained why the N50 billion part payment for the N1.04 trillion penalty slammed on MTN for SIM card registration infractions by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) was not paid into the Consolidated Revenue Account (CRA) as expected.
The AGF explanation follows remarks by some lawmakers that the recovery account which the N50 billion was paid into was illegal.
According to Malami, the money, paid by MTN, was paid into an asset recovery account fund as according to law, and the decision was made to avoid confusion.
He explained further that the money in the CRA was shared between the Federal Government and states, adding that the money was not a fine but a penalty.
Malami, speaking on Tuesday at a public hearing conducted by the Saheed Fijabi-led House of Representatives Committee on Telecommunications, argued that there was no way the MTN payment could have been paid into the CRA, saying it would have been premature to do such.
“When payment is done, it’s premature that we put it into the CRA because its meant for sharing by the three tiers of government,” he said.