MTN Fine: Senate summons ministers, CBN gov over another N450bn cut
The Senate yesterday summoned the Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami, his Communication counterpart, Adebayo Shittu, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, over what it called ridiculous secret cut in the N1.04 trillion fine imposed on MTN for alleged operational misconduct.
The Attorney General of the Federation and his team are to explain the reduction of the fine first from N1.04 trillion to N780 billion and recently to a ridiculous N330 billion, saying such decision was fraught with suspected criminal tendencies as they were perfected secretly particularly without recourse to due process. The team is expected to face the Senate Committee on Communication on Thursday.
The Chairman of the committee, Senator Gilbert Nnaji, in a letter to MTN, CBN and the two ministers expressed dismay over what they called settlement agreement of N330 billion with MTN out of a whooping N1.04 trillion and as such, summoned all the parties involved to appear before the committee to explain their extent of culpability or otherwise.
He further noted that as a committee and representatives of the Nigerian people, we are saddened about this development at a time when the Nigerian economy needs all the available capital infusion to bolster it.
It is our strong opinion that Nigeria has been shortchanged in this whole process on account of the ridiculous settlement payment plan coupled with the disparity in the exchange rate regime when the fine was imposed compared with the current prevailing exchange rate when it was agreed to cut the fine to N330 billion”.