Following the resignation of the ex-Group Chief Executive Officer of one of Nigeria’s Telecoms service provider, MTN, Mr. Sifiso Dabengwa, due to the N1.04tn fine imposed on the company by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC recently, the temporally Non-Executive Chairman of the company, Mr. Phuthuma Nhleko has taken over as the acting Executive chairman for a maximum period of six months pending the appointment of a new CEO.
“I’ll proactively deal with the Nigerian regulator and will continue to work with them in addressing the issues around unregistered subscribers as a matter of urgency”, Nhleko.
However, Dabengwa’s resignation was contained in a statement issued by MTN in Johannesburg, South Africa in the early hours of Monday.
“Due to the most unfortunate prevailing circumstances occurring at MTN Nigeria, I, in the interest of the company and its shareholders, have tendered my resignation with immediate effect”, the erstwhile CEO was quoted as saying in the statement.
The company was sanctioned by the commission on its failure to disconnect 5.1 million unregistered subscribers from its network.
The NCC had in August directed mobile telecoms service providers in the country to deactivate all unregistered SIM cards or face severe sanctions.
While other networks complied substantially with the directive, the NCC said MTN refused to comply and after the deadline to deactivate its unregistered subscribers elapsed, a 200,000-naira ($1,008) fine was imposed for each unregistered SIM.
The company claimed that it has until November 16, 2015 to pay up the fine, it promises to inform shareholders and subscribers of any engagements reached with the Nigerian government.
Surprisingly the company’s shares took a severe hit shortly after news of the outrageous fine was made public; its shares at the stock market closed 12.49 percent lower at 167 rand, the lowest in several years.