House of Reps summons Communication Technology Minister

Lawan Hamidu, Abuja

The House of Representatives has summoned the Nigerian Minister of Communication Technology, Mr. Adebayo Shittu and the Executive Chairman Nigerian Communication Commission, NCC, Professor Garba Danbatta, over the settlement with MTN on the N1.04 trillion fines imposed on the MTN by the NCC.

The decision was taken on Monday, at a stakeholders’ meeting organised by House Committee on Communication Technology, on the issue, during which Mr. Shittu and Professor Danbatta failed to turn up.

Announcing the committee’s decision, the committee chairman, Mr. Sa’id Fijabi noted that it was wrong for the Ministry and the NCC to accept a reduction while the House was investigating the negotiations between the Nigerian government and MTN on the fine.

Reduction opposed
Mr. Fijabi stated that, “It came to us as a surprise to hear that MTN is paying N330 billion. How can they pay that amount when the minister told us that everything was stalled pending the outcome of our investigation? As a House, we have opposed the reduction of the fine because there is no provision in the NCC Act that the fine can be reduced.”

The Nigerian Communication Commission has fined the MTN N1.04 trillion for not deactivating over five million unregistered SIM cards.

But a deal worked out by both NCC and MTN reduced the amount to N330 billion.

The committee mandated the Minister of Communication and his counterpart from the Ministry of Justice, NCC Chief Executive as well as all involved in the deal to appear before it on Monday, June 20.