The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu has revealed the reason why the Federal Government decided to slash the N1.04 trillion fine slammed on telecom giant, MTN to N330 billion.
Adebayo revealed this at an award ceremony in Ibadan to honour of Lekan Balogun, the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland.
He said the fine was reduced when the government realised the negative impact it could have on the nation and the economy.
“As far as we are concerned, the MTN issue is a closed matter”, he said.
“Nigeria as a country must move on. We must not do anything to drive away foreign investors. Foreign investments are potent means of bringing about development and wealth creation.”
The minister also said that people must remember that there were less than 500,000 telephone lines before MTN started operating.
“Nigeria now has more than 152 million lines and MTN is the dominant operator in the field. It controls almost 50 per cent of the lines.”
“Though, MTN violated the law and we had to penalise it. We must put a halt to the limitless crisis so that we don’t discourage foreign investors.”
“That is what the federal executive council has done to ensure we move ahead. We know for instance, that MTN operates in 22 countries.
“What it realises in Nigeria alone is more than what it realises in the other 21 countries put together.”
Meanwhile, the senate has summoned the Attorney General, Governor of Central Bank, Minister of Communications and Accountant General of the federation, to come in and explain their roles in the reduction of the fine even as it alleged that Nigerians had been shortchanged by the drastic reduction.