Only the President, Muhammadu Buhari has the power to reverse or grant any waiver to MTN Nigeria Communications Limited over the $5.2 trillion fine shower by the industry regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), reports ITRealms.
Making this disclosure in Lagos at the coalition meeting of the Access for Affordable Internet (A4AI) Nigeria chapter, the Minister of Communications, Barr. Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu has said that its only the president, Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari that can change the conditions attached to the fine.
Responding to newsmen on if NCC and his ministry could tamper justice with human face, Mr. Shittu noted that the level of violation and subsequent penalty has gone beyond what either NCC or the Ministry of Communication could simply intervene.
He made it clear that no well-meaning Nigerian would like MTN to close shop because they have a good number of Nigerians in its employ and if it could close shop, those people are likely to swell the labour market.
Shittu also empahasised that MTN never denied the violations that attracted the huge fine, but stressed that a child is loved does not mean that you have to spear the rod and spoil the child, arguing that if requisite action is not taken like NCC did, any other operator could as well flout the orders of the regulator and go to sleep with it.
He lamented the inability of the telecom operator to take action when it was necessary than compounding the issue which earned it such a huge sum of fine.
He used the opportunity to caution operators in the sector to always ensure they operate within the ambit of the law.
The minister equally assured Nigerians and stakeholders in the industry during his inaugural outing that he would operate an open-door policy and solicited well-meaning Nigerians and stakeholders alike to send their good ideas that could move the country forward.
He went ahead to share his business card to almost all the participants to drive home his open door declaration, even as he is ready to learn the industry ropes.
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Pix: Minister of Communications, Barr. Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu