The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has revealed telecommunications giants MTN have paid N130 billion of their N330 billion fine.

The fine had been imposed by the NCC over MTN’s failure to deactivate over 5 million unregistered SIM cards. The original fine was N1.04 trillion, but was reduced to N330 million following deliberations.

Shittu said,

“For the first year, they paid N80 billion, after paying the initial N50 billion, and they will have to pay for three years until they complete the N330 billion.

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“MTN does not have a choice, when the law was made, it said for every unregistered SIM card in use, the fine is N200,000, the law never anticipated that one company will be in violation to the tune of millions of lines.

“It was inconceivable, so when the thing was added 200,000 times 5.2million lines, it came to a trillion plus.

“When it happened, the MTN did four things; one they accepted that they were in default, two, they apologised for that and three they committed themselves never to allow such a thing to happen and number four, they asked for remission.

“Government had to look at a number of factors because if they have to pay this amount; they will pack up.”