Buhari Blames Boko Haram’s Killing Of 10,000 Nigerians On Mtn
BEVERLY HILLS, March 08, (THEWILL) – President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday observed that MTN’s delay in disconnecting unregistered SIM cards contributed to the killing of at least 10,000 Nigerians by the blood-lust Boko Haram terrorists.
Speaking publicly for the first time on the $5.2bn fine imposed on MTN Group by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Buhari stated that the concern of his government is not the penalty but on the security implication of the telecom service provider's inaction.
NCC had last year imposed the fine on MTN for failing to register some SIM cards.
He spoke while fielding questions from newsmen during a joint press conference he addressed alongside the visiting South African President, Jacob Zuma, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The President explained that because members of the Boko Haram sect were using unregistered SIM cards, MTN contributed to the casualties recorded by the sect because of its inaction.
According to him, “The concern of the Federal Government was basically on the security and not the fine imposed on MTN.
“You know how the unregistered GSM (SIM cards) are being used by terrorists and between 2009 and today, at least 10,000 Nigerians were killed by Boko Haram, at least 10,000.
“That was why the NCC asked MTN, Glo and the rest of them to register GSM subscribers.
“Unfortunately, MTN was very very slow and contributed to the casualties. And NCC looked at its regulations and imposed the fine.”
He stated that that was why his government left the NCC and security agencies to handle the matter in their own way, regretting that rather than negotiate the fine or the mode of payment, MTN dragged the Federal Government to court.
The President then stated that Nigeria’s constitution stipulates that no further action should be taken on any issue that is a subject of litigation.
He however pointed out that now that MTN had decided to withdraw the case from court, it is free to go back to the relevant government agencies to see if the fine can be reduced and paid in installments.