N1.04Trillion Fine: MTN Fires CEO, Head Of Corporate Affairs

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By Sadiq Umar, Abuja – The MTN Group has announced the resignation of its Nigerian CEO, Michael Ikpoki and the Head of Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, Akinwale Goodluck, even as the N1.4trillion fine imposed on it has now been reduced to N674 billion.

A statement from MTN, Thursday said the resignation of the duo takes immediate effect.

According to the statement, “MTN Nigeria’s CEO Michael Ikpoki and the Head of Regulatory and Corporate Affairs Akinwale Goodluck have tendered their resignations with immediate effect.

“They are replaced by Ferdi Moolman as MTN Nigeria CEO and Amina Oyagbola as its head of Regulatory and Corporate Affairs. Mr Moolman was previously COO at MTN Irancell and most recently CFO at MTN Nigeria. A Nigerian national, Ms Oyagbola also retains the position of MTN Nigeria’s Head of Human Resources. She formerly headed regulatory affairs at the Nigerian operating company,” it stated.

Also, the statement added that the company received a formal letter dated December 2 from the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) notifying it of a reduction in the fine earlier imposed on it.

According to the statement, NCC resolved that “after considering the Company’s request, it has taken the decision to reduce the fine on the MTN Nigerian business from the original N1,040,000,000,000 (One trillion, forty billion Naira) to N674 billion Naira which has to be paid by 31 December 2015.

MTN simultaneously announced a restructuring of its operations which according to it, aimed to strengthen “operational oversight, leadership, governance and regulatory compliance” across its 22 country operations in Africa and the Middle East, adding that the group has now been restructured into three regions, namely, West and Central Africa, South and East Africa and Middle East and North Africa.

Group Executive Chairman Phuthuma Nhleko stated that “this revised structure and strengthened leadership will improve operational oversight and increase management capacity”.

It would be recalled that the Nigerian Communications Commission had imposed a fine of N1.04trillion on MTN in October for failing to meet the deadline to disconnect 5.1 million unregistered subscribers slumping the company’s shares by 23 percent of their value since then.

Following this, Nhleko took an executive position in November and led negotiations with the NCC after which its Chief Executive Officer, Sifiso Dabengwa resigned.

In the meantime, NCC in a market update to shareholders Thursday, agreed to cut the fine to $3.4bn and the penalty against MTN as stressed the need to be pay by December 31 2015.

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