- N330bn fine: MTN Has so Far Paid N165bn, Says NCC
MTN Nigeria Communications Limited has so far paid N165bn out of the N330bn imposed on it by the Nigerian Communications Commission, the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, has said.
Danbatta, stated this while hosting some MTN directors, who paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja on Monday after a board strategy meeting.
He also disclosed that the National Frequency Management Council had decided that the firm should retain the controversial frequency it acquired from the National Broadcasting Commission for N30bn.
However, the frequency, Danbatta stated, must be used for telecommunications services rather than for broadcast services.
The NCC had in October 2015 imposed a fine of N1.04tn on MTN for irregular registration of subscribers. However, after prolonged negotiation with both the regulatory agency and the Federal Government, the company had the fine reduced to N330bn.
The payment of the fine was spread over a period of three years and Danbatta said the company had so far kept to the schedule, making a total deposit of N165bn as the regulatory agency received a cheque of N55bn in the last two weeks.
Danbatta said, “I am delighted that you chose to have this strategic meeting in Nigeria. We always try to find pragmatic ways to engage with all operators, including the MTN.
“The National Frequency Management Council has accepted our recommendation that the 700 Megahertz spectrum that was assigned to you by a sister agency, the National Broadcasting Commission, (which has been on hold) should stay with you on condition that you use it for telecommunications services instead of broadcast services.
“Part of the fine was paid in March. Not more than two weeks ago, we received a cheque for N55bn. So far, MTN has paid more than 50 per cent of the fine. That would translate to N165bn. The payment they are making is consistent with the terms of agreement we reached with them.”
He also said, “There was an amicable settlement and agreement leading to the way the fine is being paid. So far, they have not reneged. This information should go out.
“The whole idea of that exercise was not to bring MTN to its knees. We just wanted to ensure that it is not business as usual. More than the fine, we wanted to ensure that the rules of engagement are respected. That is all.
“Left to me, the sanction wouldn’t have been necessary but because the rules were there clearly stipulating what should be done in such a situation, the EVC did not have much option but to play by the dictates of the rules governing engagement in the telecommunications sector of the economy.”
Representatives of MTN at the meeting included the Chairman, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Pascal Dozie; the Chairman, MTN Group, Mr. Phuthuma Nhleko; the Vice Chairman, MTN Nigeria, Colonel Sani Bello (retd); the President/CEO, MTN Group, Mr. Rob Shutter; the CEO, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Ferdinand Moolman; Directors, Chief Victor Odili, Mr. Tunde Folawiyo and Mr. Gbenga Oyebode; the Corporate Relations Executive, Mr. Tobechukwu Okigbo; and the Government Relations Manager, Mr. Anas Galadima.
Speaking at the meeting, both Dozie and Nhleko said it was because of the critical contribution of Nigeria to the MTN Group that the meeting was held in the country.
Npower News Today: Npower Salary Update, Npower Latest News on Permanency
Latest Npower News Today: Npower Salary Update and Npower Latest News on Permanency
The Federal Government continues to engage private businesses and organisations on the absorption of exited batch A and batch B of the Npower program.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, disclosed this in Abuja.
On continuity and sustenance, the Federal Government allocated N420 billion to Npower and other social investment programmes in the 2021 proposed budget before the National Assembly.
President Muhammadu Buhari also made mention of it in his last speech regarding the #EndSARS protest.
Buhari said, “In furtherance of our inclusiveness agenda, the sum of N420 billion has been provided to sustain the Social Investment Programmes, while N20 billion has also been set aside for the family homes and our Social Housing Programme.”
Speaking on unpaid exited Npower beneficiaries of batches A and B, the minister said “the ministry has directed that opportunity be given to the affected beneficiaries to verify and re-validate their eligibility so that qualified beneficiaries can be paid for their participation in the N-Power Programme.
“Beneficiaries are hereby directed to report to their State Focal Persons immediately with their bank account details including bank statements from March 2020 to date, NYSC Discharge Certificates, birth certificates and other related screening documents.
“The deadline for verification is October 13, 2020. Beneficiaries who fail to attend the verification exercise will forfeit their stipends.”
The fresh verification has now closed, however, the list of the successful candidates for Batch C would be announced soon according to the minister while the Federal Government continues to work on permanent placement for exited Npower beneficiaries.
On fake Npower news flying across social media, Rhoda Ishaku Iliya, the Deputy Director Information of the ministry, said the attention of the ministry has been drawn to series of fake news trending on social media.
She said “the attention of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has been drawn to the fake news trending on social media that President Muhammadu Buhari will broadcast to the nation the absorption of N-Power Volunteers Batch A, into the Federal Civil Service,” the statement reads.
“The Ministry is hereby calling on the public to disregard the message and consider it as fake news. Any information on N-Power or the National Social Investment Programme will be issued through the appropriate Federal Government channels.”
Soldiers, Police Battle Hoodlums to Prevent Looting of Computer Village
Soldiers and Police Battle Hoodlums Trying to Loot Computer Village
Hoodlums that hijacked the #EndSARS protest and turned it into a broad day robbery have continued to attack business districts, offices and properties of known establishments to loot and destroy years of labour despite the negative impacts of COVID-19 on these businesses.
Soldiers that were later joined by the Nigerian Police Force have been trying to repel hoodlums looking to break into computer village in Ikeja, Lagos State since the #EndSARS protest was hijacked.
According to residents and business owners contacted, the armed looters are still making an attempt to overpower security agents knowing there are valuables in the shops.
“Right now they are still making an attempt (to overpower security agents) and considering the sensitivity of the business that we do, we sell very valuable commodities and they understand the liquidity of these products,” said Adeniyi Ojikutu, president, Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN) said on the phone.
Ojikutu said the hoodlums, who were more than 500 in number, had shot in the air when they were discovered and remained close by for an opportunity to eventually break into the largest computer, mobile devices and ICT accessory market in Africa.
Also, because computer village is within close proximity to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), a new BRT station, Jara Mall, the Lagos State Police Command, Lagos State High Court and both the local and international Airports, it becomes imperative to protect it as a break-in by looters may spell disaster for other top establishments in the vicinity.
A resident said ‘Benin Boys’, a group of hoodlums, had earlier tried to invade computer village around 1 am but were prevented by security operatives. However, those that have been making attempts between the morning and afternoon of Friday were the Agege boys.
“The security were using megaphones to shout and warn all of us to stay inside,” said this resident.
Dangote Sugar Refinery Postpones Board Meeting Amid Social Unrest
Dangote Sugar Refinery Has Postponed Board Meeting Scheduled for Today Amid Social Unrest
The management of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc on Friday said they have decided to postpone the company’s board meeting scheduled to hold today October 23, 2020 to a date they will communicate soon.
The management said the decision was due to the ongoing precarious situation in the country, especially the attacks on various establishments since governor Sanwo-Olu imposed a 24-hour curfew on all parts of the state.
In a statement signed by the company secretary, Mrs. Temitope Hassan, Dangote Sugar Refinery said “Further to our announcement made on October 8, 2020, the Company wishes to notify the Exchange and the investing public that the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company earlier scheduled to be held on Friday October 23, 2020 to consider the draft unaudited financial statement of the Company for the Q3 ended September 30, 2020 has been postponed in view of the current precarious situation in the country.
“The new date for the meeting will be communicated as soon as normalcy returns. The Closed Period which has already commenced will continue till 24 hours after the filling of the Results.
“No insider of the Company, including its Directors, Employees, Advisers and Consultants and their connected persons may deal directly or indirectly in the Shares of the Company during the Closed Period.
All Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc Insiders have been duly informed.”
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