MTN Nigeria To Make Initial Public Offering in 2018, To Pay Fine Imposed By NCC


MTN Group Ltd. is preparing to make an Initial Public Offering (IPO) of its Nigerian business in a bid to settle the $1 billion which is left of the fine the Nigerian regulators imposed on it in 2015, and the plans are expected to be finalised in about six months time.

The leading telecommunications company in the country revealed, through its Group President and CEO, Rob Shuter, that advisers are getting things ready, and though the process is complicated, he is positive that preparations should be concluded in six months.

It will be recalled that late last year, the network provider incurred a $1.7 billion fine which led to the company recording its first annual loss in 20 years. The company have been paying instalments and is down to about $1 billion.

Nigeria Communications Week reports that the fine, which was incurred as a penalty for surpassing the deadline given for disconnecting unsubscribed members in Nigeria, is expected to be settled with this IPO, and is part of the ways they can remain in the country after paying off the fine.

MTN is Africa’s biggest wireless operator, is pleased with its operations in the country, having 50.3 million users, the biggest of its markets across Africa and the Middle East, followed by Iran and South Africa,  which may explain its willingness and dedication in paying off the fine.

The network provider has plans to make the current markets better, keeping on hold plans to enter new markets until it is satisfied with the quality of the markets. This is understandable with its apparent affinity for fines which no doubt weighs down on its finances.

One way to look at this, though, is that the NCC, which have gone on to show its strength as a regulatory body, would get some money for the country and other service providers will learn from MTN’s mistake, although the problems of SIM registration which got MTN in this debt is still on.

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