BMI View: The most likely outcome of discussions between the NCC and MTN Nigeria on its USD5.2bn fine is a compromise on less than half the original figure. This would also be the best outcome for the telecoms sector and the wider economy, ensuring the NCC can regulate from a position of strength, while reducing the risk of the government targeting telecoms operators in other ways for additional revenue, and alleviating investors' fears of similar fines in other industries. – 3 November 2015
We projected a 60% chance of MTN Nigeria and the government agreeing on a reduction of the original fine of USD5.2bn (for failing to disconnect unregistered SIMs) to less than USD2bn, but more than USD520mn. This was part of a wider view that the operating environment in Nigeria's telecoms sector had become less predictable for investors.
In June 2016, it was agreed that the operator would pay a fine of NGN330bn (USD1.671bn) over a period of three years. MTN and Etisalat curbed investment into Nigeria in 2015, supporting our view of policy uncertainty deterring investment.