The Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), has slammed a hefty fine of US$5 billion (N980 billion) on leading telecommunications service provider, MTN Nigeria, for failing to disconnect subscribers with unregistered SIM cards bought before January 2012.
By law, all SIM cards bought in Nigeria from that date are supposed to be registered under the user’s name and all telecommunications’ companies were told to register their existing subscribers’ cards.
However, it was learnt that MTN Nigeria, which is the biggest telecommunications firm in Nigeria – failed to comply.
The fine is the largest in the history of telecoms infringements in Nigeria and may re-define the existing relationships between operators and the regulator.
Nigerians continue to groan under the weight of poor services from mobile network operators and blame the NCC for not doing enough to correct the anomaly.
A senior executive at MTN Nigeria told the BBC that an official statement on the fine would be issued later on Monday.