Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Court Bans MTN's Access To Nigerian Funds

MTN Nigeria Communications Limited faces new sanctions from the Federal High Court in Lagos, as the company is forbidden to move any existing funds from Nigerian banks abroad.

The Federal Government brought a motion to restrain 21
commercial banks from releasing money to the country’s biggest telecom provider.
The restriction will remain in force until the hearing of its suit challenging the N1,4 trillion fine imposed on MTN Nigeria by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The motion read in part: “The FG seeks an order of Mareva injunction [a court order which requests assets be frozen] restraining the aforementioned banks from releasing, making a sale, transferring, or paying any of the monies maintained by the plaintiff MTN.”
MTN was initially slammed with a record $5,1 billion fine in October last year for failing to deactivate unregistered sim cards, which was later reduced to $3,9 billion.

The company is now challenging the fine in court contending that “the manner of the imposition of the fine and the quantum thereof is not in accordance with the NCC’s powers under the Nigerian Communications Act.”
However, MTN hopes to simultaneously maintain talks with the Nigerian government. It is currenlty embarking upon a major project to register the biometrics of its customers as an important security measure.