South African telecoms firm MTN Group has withdrawn its legal action against Nigeria’s regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), over a $3.9 billion fine and paid $250 million towards a possible settlement, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
Africa’s leading telecoms firm was fined by NCC in October for failing to disconnect unregistered SIM users, prompting weeks of lobbying to reduce the fine.
The original amount was based on fining the company $1,000 for every unregistered SIM card in use.
“MTN Nigeria has today (Wednesday) made an agreed without prejudice good faith payment of N50 billion ($251.3 million) to the Federal Government of Nigeria on the basis that this will be applied towards a settlement, where one is eventually, hopefully arrived at”, the company said.
MTN, which makes 37 percent of its sales in Nigeria, said it would withdraw its court challenge in an effort to reach an amicable settlement.
Shares in the company rose about 2 percent at 1158 GMT to 130.37 rand.