After failing to meet the June 2015 deadline to disconnect unregistered SIM cards, South African mobile phone company MTN has agreed to pay $1.7bn to Nigeria.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) initially issued a fine of $5.2bn but following discussions, they agreed to the reduced settlement. Nigeria is MTN's biggest market and it has 231 million subscribers in 22 countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. In September 2015 the brand was named as the most admired brand in Africa and its estimated value is $4.6bn.
MTN executive chairman, Phuthuma Nhleko stated 'This is the best outcome for the company'. Reports also suggest that the fine was imposed amidst fears that their phone lines were being used by militants linked to Boko Haram. The fine is to be paid by instalments over the next 3 years.