MTN Nigeria New CEO, Nhleko Promises To Deal With NCC

Phuthuma Nhleko will take over as interim CEO pending when the company finds a replacement for the departed Dabengwa

Dabengwa resigned over the weekend after consultation with the board and his financial compensation hasn't been resolved, MTN Group Spokesman, Chris Maroleng, said by phone.

Dabengwa resigned as a result of the crisis emanating from the $5.2 billion (N1.04trillion) fine imposed on MTN Nigeria by the telecoms industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

A reliable source said the management of MTN Group was not pleased with the way the fine issue was handled, thus generating a few form of controversies within the management level.

The company's shares have lost about 16 percent of their value since the fine was made public two weeks ago. Both parties are reportedly in talks to 'find a way out'.

The resignation of Dabengwa has not come as a surprise to analysts and market watchers.

Temporally Non-Executive Chairman of the company, Mr. Nhleko took over as acting Executive chairman for a maximum period of six months pending the appointment of a new CEO.

The resignation of MTN's group chief executive officer Sifiso Dabengwa should not be seen as an admission of wrongdoing, the operator's spokesperson said.

Nigeria is MTN's largest market with over 62 million subscribers.

Reports also suggest MTN failed to disclose the fine to its shareholders on time.

The rating's agencies Moody's and Fitch lowered MTN's credit rating last month because of the Nigeria fine. The regulator said the fine was justified because users of unregistered SIM cards pose a security risk.

They say President Muhammadu Buhari"s no-nonsense "body language' may have contributed to the severity of the fine the NCC slammed on MTN".

Nigeria's government bodies seemed to have been re-energised to perform their duties since Buhari was sworn in on May 29.

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