Senate probes ‘suspicious’ payment of N50b by MTN to CBN


• Summons Shittu, Malami

• To uphold rights of physically challenged

The Senate Committee on Communications has begun investigations into what it called the suspicious manner one of the telecommunication services provider, Mobile Telecommunication Network (MTN)‎ paid about N50 billion into a special account in the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The payment, according to a statement issued by the committee’s chairman, Gilbert Nnaji, at the weekend in Abuja, amounted to an attempt to evade and frustrate the N780 billion fine imposed on MTN by the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) in 2015.

The committee said it has therefore invited ‎ the Minister of Communication Technology, Adebayo Shittu and Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to explain their involvement in the alleged suspicious payment.‎

Also summoned for the same purpose is the Executive Vice-Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC), Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, the ‎Accountant-General of the Federation and the ‎Chief Executive Officer of MTN.‎

Meanwhile, Senate President, Bukola Saraki has said that the National Assembly will prioritize bills aimed at protecting and safeguarding the rights of persons living with disabilities in the country.

In a statement entitled: “Urgent legislative intervention on the alleged controversial payment of N50 billion by a Telecom service provider, MTN, with regard to the fine of N780 billion imposed on it by NCC” and dated March 3rd, 2016, the Senate Committee on Communications noted that in the course of its oversight function specifically in relation to the sanction of N780 billion imposed on MTN, NCC could not offer any proof of receiving money from MTN.

The statement reads in part: “The attention of the Senate Committee on Communications has been drawn to widespread media publications particularly quoting the Minister of Communication Technology, Adebayo Shittu, as claiming that the Mobile Telecommunications Network, MTN, Nigeria Limited has made a down payment of N50 billion to the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, relative to the fine of N780 billion that was imposed on the service provider by the agency.”

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