Senate panel pledges speedy probe of MTN’s N50b payment
The Senate Committee on Communication yesterday said that it would leave no stone unturned in unravelling all factors that led to the payment of N50 billion by the Mobile Telecommunication Network (MTN).
It also said that it is interested to know why MTN was directed to pay the money into a recovery account instead of through the regulatory agency, Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) that imposed the fine in the first place.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Gilbert Nnaji, denied reports that the matter had been dropped due to the absence of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, at the investigative hearing of committee on last Thursday.
The NCC in October 2015 imposed a fine of N1.04 trillion on MTN for contravening the directive on the deactivation of 5.2 million unregistered subscribers on its network.
MTN was however, reported to have paid N50 billion into government coffers as part of a deal to resolve the matter.
Nnaji said that most members of the Communications Committee view Malami’s action in relation to the controversial N50 billion payment by MTN, as “not only at variance with the anti-corruption stance of the Federal Government but a deliberate attempt to undermine Nigeria’s integrity and subject her to public ridicule in a bid to impress South Africa.”
He insisted that no amount of sentiment would deter the committee from unmasking all those behind the “national embarrassment.”
The Committee Chairman said that unraveling the overall circumstances surrounding the deal became necessary due to the public outcry it has generated.