President Muhammadu Buhari said on Tuesday that the $5.2 billion fine imposed on MTN Nigeria by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) was not just about the money but for the damage the telecom firm did the country in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency.
Buhari spoke at a joint press conference with the visiting South African president, Jacob Zuma at the presidential villa, Abuja.
“The concern of the federal government is basically on the security and not the fine imposed on MTN. You know how the unregistered GSM are being used by terrorists.
“And between 2009 and today, at least 10,000 Nigerians were killed by Boko Haram. That was why NCC asked MTN, Glo and the rest of them to register GSM. Unfortunately, MTN was very, very slow and contributed to the casualties”
He added that the concern of the Nigerian government is not the penalty, but the security implication of the telecommunication firm’s inaction as members of Boko Haram sect were using unregistered SIM cards.
Buhari stated that that was why his government allowed the regulator and security agencies to handle the matter.