10 May Benin: MTN settles with Benin government
Mobile operator MTN Benin has reached an agreement with the Beninese government over unpaid fees, following sanction procedures opened in November 2017, reports Agence Ecofin. South African-backed MTN had contested the demand from Benin’s Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications & Post (ARCEP) for backdated spectrum usage fees totalling XOF134.4 billion (USD238 million) as ‘excessive’, but MTN Group CEO Rob Shuter has now disclosed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the opposing parties. MTN has agreed to pay the overdue fees (covering the period March 2016 to December 2017) in instalments, whilst Shuter predicted that negotiations on reducing spectrum fees for 2018 onwards should be concluded by the end of June 2018.
Other points contained in the MoU included the extension of MTN Benin’s five-year operating licence and the addition of fibre to existing licensing conditions, accepted against a payment of USD126 million.