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Senators query reduction of MTN $8.1bn fine to $800m

By Samuel Ogidan on 14/11/2018

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 The upper chamber of the National Assembly on Tuesday queried the rationale behind the plan by the Federal Government to reduce the $8.1 billion fine imposed on the Mobile Telecommunication Network (MTN), a communication giant, to $800 million.

The development, which is presently causing controversy in the Senate, has been described as an issue that should not be ignored by the lawmakers.

The Senate maintained that it has interest in the issue, adding that what Federal Government does with the fine is of little interest to it.

The Senate, which said how the percentage of reduction from $8.1 billion to $800 million was arrived at is of interest to it, added that it should be intimated why the reduction became necessary and also what informed the penalty of $8.1 billion in the first instance.

A pointer to what Federal Government is planning, it was learnt, was that with the help of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) it may have concluded arrangements to cut the $8.1 billion fine to $800 million through the back door.

Speaking with newsmen, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim, disclosed how the CBN failed to implement Senate resolutions passed to it before conducting another investigation into the alleged infraction by MTN.

Ibrahim, who said that his committee would immediately demand from CBN a detailed report on the matter to be better informed, noted that that is the only way Nigerians would know what transpired between the CBN and MTN on the $8.1 billion fine.

The lawmaker pointed out that the last time the Senate heard about the issue was when it had a little retreat last two weeks in Lagos, where CBN did the presentation of its biannual activities to the committee (Senate Committee).

Senator Ibrahim said that the CBN explained that its investigation was based on a petition from a law firm and its stand was that the penalty was correct.

Excerpted from a Daily Independent report

Source News Express

Posted 14/11/2018 12:11:40 PM

 

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