MTN Group Limited is reviewing its senior management in Nigeria after Africa’s largest phone company was fined N1.04 trillion ($5.2 billion) by the country’s telecommunications regulator for failing to disconnect customers with unregistered SIM cards, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had slapped the fine on MTN Nigeria last week for failing to fully deactivate 5.2 million subscribers with unregistered and incomplete SIM card details on its networks within the stipulated deadline given all mobile phone operators in the country to comply with the directive.
Based on NCC regulations, the fine was based on N200,000 per unregistered subscriber. The company was given till November 16 to cough up the fine.
According to Bloomberg, South African senior executives of the parent company, who are in Nigeria to meet with the regulator to discuss the fine, will decide on whether to make changes to senior management, which is headed by a Nigerian Chief Executive Officer Michael Ikpoki, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.
Ikpoki didn’t respond to calls and messages seeking comment. Chris Maroleng, MTN’s main spokesman at its head office in Johannesburg, declined to comment.
“We know of no such thing,” Chineze Gbenga-Oluwatoye, a spokeswoman for MTN Nigeria, said by phone from Lagos.
MTN shares have plunged about 19 per cent this week in Johannesburg, the biggest three-day drop since 2008, valuing the company at about 288 billion rand ($21 billion).
The stock declined 2.6 per cent to 155.85 rand at the close of work yesterday, the lowest since October 2012.
Nigeria is MTN’s biggest market, with about 62 million customers at the end of September.