Nigeria said it was expecting telecoms giant MTN to meet a deadline for paying a record $3.9 billion fine which expires Thursday 31st December, 2015 despite the South African operator challenging the penalty in court. The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the country’s telecoms regulator, had in October fined the firm for missing a deadline to disconnect 5.1 million unregistered SIM cards, citing security concerns in a country plagued by frequent kidnappings and an extremist Islamist insurgency Boko Haram.

It imposed a whopping $5.2 billion fine, later reduced to $3.9 billion (3.6 billion euros) following an appeal by MTN.  “If MTN fails to meet the deadline today (Thursday), the regulatory body will enforce the fine,” Nigerian communications ministry spokesman Victor Oluwadamilare told AFP.

Oluwadamilare said the pending legal proceedings had nothing to do with the payment deadline...

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