House of Representatives livid at reduction of MTN fine


The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Telecommunications has summoned the Minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu and the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, to appear before it and explain the rationale behind the reduction of a N1.04trn fine against MTN to N330bn only.

The summon of both officials followed their inability to honour an earlier invitation by the committee to come and explain the same subject yesterday.

“We are summoning all the parties that participated in the negotiation to appear before this committee on Monday next week,” chairman of the committee, Hon. Saheed Fijabi had said.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communications, Sunny Echono, who represented the minister, had informed the committee that the N1.04trn had been reduced to N330bn, adding that the negotiation leading to the reduction had the blessing of the Federal Government.

“I’m here to confirm that the government has approve the sum of N330bn as full and final payment of the fine…and we can confirm that the payment has the blessing of the highest level of government, “ Echono said.

The N330bn deal, which was announced on Friday last week, angered the House Committee, which has not conclude its investigation into the matter.

In arriving at the agreement, Danbatta reportedly said the decision was taken based on professionalism and global best practices, and in line with the NCC core value “to be fair, firm and forthright”.

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