Monday, March 06, 2017

Despite NCC sanction, MTN subscribers grow by 3.3% in 2016

Despite the burden of paying over N80bn out of N330 billion negotiated fine by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in Nigeria, MTN Group said that the year 2016 saw its subscribers grow by 3.3 per cent to 240.4 million, reports ITRealms.

ITRealms recollects that NCC had sanctioned MTN Nigeria over non-adherence to regulations, especially on deactivation of Subscribers Identification Module (SIM) cards in the country. The sanction led to some tsunami of sort in the management of MTN Nigeria and "above the law" attendant backlash.

The Group Corporate Affairs at MTN Group, Chris Maroleng, said that this was one of the highlights in the just released financial results for the year ended 31 December 2016.

This, he told ITRealms came as the revenue of MTN Group increased marginally by 0.4 per cent, that is some 2.9 per cent to R146,894 million, about N3,546,661 billion.

Just as the data revenue increased by 16.7 per cent, with some 19.7 per cent to R39,546 million.

In addition, he said, that MTN Group remained a leading distributor of digital music in Africa.

“We recorded strong growth of 44,2 per cent in digital services revenue, supported by its lifestyle and mobile financial service offerings,” he said.

Maroleng cited the MTN Games Club, which is now active in nine markets with 5.4 million subscribers.

Whilst the electronic commerce (eCommerce) venture, Jumia, recorded 3.2 million customers within the period under review.

ITRealms recalls that the Federal Government (FG) had in June 2016 reached a deal with MTN Nigeria to settle its fine in tranches till 2019.

According to the Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu,  MTN had paid N80bn of the N330bn fine imposed on it for failing to deactivate over five million unregistered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards within a given period by NCC.

Mr. Shittu also said that the company paid the sum for the first year.

“For the first year, they paid N80bn, including the initial N50bn, and they will have to pay for three years until they will complete the N330bn,” he declared.

However, MTN Nigeria is reportedly the largest market within the MTN Group on the continent.

Chuks Egbune/GEE
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