Telecom firm, MTN Nigeria has lost about 4.5 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2016.
The company also revealed in its 2016 first quarter results that it had shed millions of subscribers across the continent, losing 1.4 percent of them in Africa.
In a quarterly update for the period ended March 31, MTN said the loss in Nigeria was due to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) mandated disconnections in February.
The decline reduced MTN’s base in Nigeria from over 61 million to 57 million, in the midst of growing controversy on the $5.2 billion NCC fine.
Phuthuma Nhleko, MTN Group executive chairman, said.
“During the first quarter of 2016, the group was impacted by the ‘after shocks’ of the events that took place towards the end of 2015, mainly the subscriber registration process in many of the countries in which we operate, with Nigeria being the largest”
“In order to mitigate any future regulatory challenges, the group took an exceptionally conservative stance by disconnecting all subscribers who could possibly be deemed to be non-compliant.
“This has had a significant unfavourable impact on total subscriber growth and revenue in Q1 16. Nonetheless, we believe this resolve to address compliance matters decisively, has put the Group on a solid footing as regards the subscriber registration process and regulatory matters in general.”
MTN also lost 1.7 percent of its subscriber base in South Africa, plunging its numbers in its home country to 30.1 million.