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Nigeria regulator raises MTN fine to $3.9bn: company

The Nigerian Communications Commission has increased the penalty it imposed on South Africa’s telecoms giant MTN for failing to disconnect unregistered SIM cards, the company said Friday.

MTN earlier announced that the regulator had cut the record $5.2 billion fine to $3.4 billion, after negotiations with the Nigerian authorities.

The penalty has now been increased to $3.9 billion, according to a recent letter received by the Johannesburg-based firm.

The company said it was “carefully considering” the letters it has received, and that its chairman and acting chief executive Phuthuma Nhleko would hold further talks with the Nigerian authorities.

The amount has to be paid by December 31.

MTN was slapped with the hefty penalty in October after it missed a deadline to disconnect 5.1 million unregistered SIM cards.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, is the MTN group’s largest market where it had over 62.8 million subscribers by the second quarter of this year.

MTN operates in 22 countries in Africa and the Middle East.