WHY MTN CEO, SIFISO DABENGWA RESIGNED



MTN Boss
According to the information that got to our news desk on Monday morning, the CEO of MTN, Sifiso Dabengwa resigned with immediate effect following the most unfortunate prevailing circumstances hitting the multinational company hard in Nigeria.

Though his resignation came as a shock to his colleagues and the company shareholders at large but Mr Dabengwa said he was doing that in the interest of the company and its stakeholders.

Meanwhile, the company has chosen its chairperson and former chief executive Phuthuma Nhleko as the executive chairman for a good period of 6 months while the search for a successor continues.

For failing to disconnect about 5 million subscribers who did not register their sim card, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) fined MTN Nigeria $5.2 billion (N1.4 Trillion) in October.



While some Nigerians have said that the decision of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to fine MTN that have created job opportunities for many Nigerians such a whopping sum of money was harsh, others are of the opinion that what NCC did was right. Some believed that if it was in South Africa, their government would have done worse than that. Moreover, it serves as a warning to all foreign companies resident in Nigeria to respect the laws of their landlord.

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Consequent upon the costly censure, the company’s share price plummeted, prompting the JSE to suspend trading of its shares. However, it has since resumed trading, but on Friday its share price closed at R157.45, down from R161.50 in opening trade.

In a statement, Phuthuma Nhleko, the new Executive Chairman said; “I will assume responsibility as executive chairman for the next 6 months as I proactively deal with the Nigerian regulator and will continue to work with them in addressing the issues around unregistered subscribers as a matter of urgency.”
He also added that his second priority will be “to find an appropriate chief executive officer” before returning to his non-executive chairman role in the next six months.

But despite the fine, last week MTN was granted the renewal and extension of its digital mobile license and operating spectrum in Nigeria until 2021.

From the information coming to us from across the country, some Nigerians do not believe that the threat of terrorist activity by Boko Haram who are using unregistered cell phone account to communicate is the only reason for the hefty fine but because of the decline in the oil revenue which has forced the government of Buhari to seek for other means to raise money. And if that be the case, we should all be expecting a bounce of fine on other foreign companies doing business in Nigeria.

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With over 62 million MTN subscribers in Nigeria, the Nigerian market serves MTN very well and should deserve that simple respect.

As a way of restructuring, we expect a lay-off of some of the MTN Staff. The wind of CHANGE of the new government has never been fresh – more Nigerians are losing their jobs on daily basis just because they voted for change.