Nigerian authorities have urged MTN Nigeria to drop its legal action over a $3.9 billion fine imposed on it to help facilitate talks on a possible settlement.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had slapped a $5.2 billion fine on MTN in October for failing to disconnect users with unregistered SIM cards. The fine was reduced by 25 percent after weeks of negotiations.
A judge in Lagos last week gave the company until March 18 to try to reach an out-of-the-court settlement with the Nigerian authorities over the fine.
“I’m not aware of any out-of-the-court settlement,” telecoms minister Adebayo Shittu said on Tuesday.
Shittu said President Muhammadu Buhari will have the final decision on the matter, adding that MTN might be advised to withdraw the court case filed against the fine.
“If they withdraw it creates a better environment, an environment where there is no stress or pressure on either side,” he said.
MTN, which makes about 37 percent of its revenue from Nigeria, then filed a suit in the West African country questioning NCC’s legal grounds for imposing the penalty.