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MTN Nigeria makes conciliatory payment

MTN Nigeria makes conciliatory payment.

MTN Nigeria has made a good faith payment of 50-billion Naira (US$250-million) to the West African country's federal government.

In a cautionary announcement the mobile operator stated that it had made the payment "on the basis that this will be applied towards a settlement, where one is eventually, hopefully arrived at."

The operator has agreed to withdraw the matter from the Federal High Court in Lagos, according to the announcement.

Earlier this month MTN Executive for Group Affairs Chris Maroleng confirmed that the company had hired former US attorney general Eric Holder to assist in the negotiation process involving the telco's US$3.9-billion fine imposed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in October 2015.

The fine relates to failure to disconnect 5.1million unregistered SIM cards on the Nigerian network.

MTN announced in mid-December 2015 that it would pursue legal action in the Federal High Court to determine whether or not the NCC has sufficient legal backing to impose the fine without contravening the Nigerian constitution.

On 22 January shareholders were advised that the Federal High Court adjourned the matter until 18 March 2016.

MTN Group Executive Chairman and a director of MTN Nigeria Phuthuma Nhleko is leading the team engaging the Nigerian authorities with a view to settling the matter.

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