The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has given the MTN Group two weeks to pay a $5.2 billion fine imposed on Africa’s biggest mobile phone company, Reuters reports.
The telecoms regulator imposed the penalty on Monday on MTN Nigeria sending the phone operator’s stock tumbling by about 20 percent this week, though they bounced 2 percent by midday Friday.
The telecoms regulator said MTN failed to disconnect subscribers with unregistered or incomplete SIM cards, after ordering all network operators to do so. NCC said only MTN had failed to comply with the directive.
Its believed that the regulator’s decision was based on advice from Nigeria’s state security service, which suspected unregistered SIM cards were being used for criminal activity in a country facing Islamic militant group Boko Haram’s insurgency.
NCC spokesman Tony Ojobo said MTN had until Nov. 16 pay up, but the two sides were in talks to resolve the matter.
“The outcome of the discussion may affect the date. That’s why they are having the discussion so that they can reach a solution,” Ojobo said.