Nigerian authorities extend payment deadline for MTN, but fine stays


South African telecom giant company MTN has had the payment deadline for a $5.2 billion fine imposed on it for infringements in Nigeria extended, but the fine still stands.

The Nigerian Communications Commission fined Africa’s largest mobile phone operator for failing to disconnect unregistered SIM cards.

MTN is seeking to have the fine reduced and has been in discussions with high-ranking Nigerian officials for the past two weeks.

Nigerian authorities say the payment deadline has been extended while it looks into MTN’s pleas for leniency. Nigeria is MTN’s biggest market by sales, with more than 62 million subscribers generating $4 Billion in revenues in 2014.

Shares in MTN have dropped by about 20 percent since the fine was first announced on October 26.