Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Barr Adebayo Shittu, on Monday in Lagos said that Etisalat Nigeria has the right to exercise its feelings via judicial means if not satisfied with the acquision of Visafone’s 800 MHz spectrum by MTN.
Shittu made this known during a media parley with Information and Communication Technology (ICT), journalists in Lagos.
The Communications Minister who stated this from the view of a lawyer said, if any operator feels sur-changed, the court is usually the best place for such appropriate processes.
Although, he was quick to point out that it has not come to the knowledge of the Ministry that Etisalat feels threatened or sur-changed.
On the issue of none payment of the mega fine by MTN, the Minister said that he had told the telco to show and attach their bank statements with letter for further reduction of fine but that advice was not heeded.
“With this, we can know if truly MTN is in distress and cannot pay the N780 billion fine. Without this, MTN has to pay some fraction of the fine before any form of review can be done.
“When MTN came. We understood their pleas. However, we added that if you cannot meet up with the fine, you have to add your account details to show that upon paying your company will collapse. They are yet to respond on that. The next thing was for me to get a call they are going to court. And now, they are coming back for out of court settlement. We don’t want MTN to die, rather, we want them to obey the law”.
However, the Minister did not give specific amount to be paid but he insisted that the federal government will not give any attention until the demand is met.
He stressed that President Muhammadu Bubari in his magnanimity reduced the fine from N1.04 trillion to N780 billion, after the telco pleaded for leniency.
It can be recalled that a court of jurisdiction in Lagos gave MTN till March 18, 2016 to settle out of court with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
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