Telecoms stakeholders laud the resignation of MTN Group’s boss

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Lagos  –  Stakeholders in the telecommunications sector have commended the resignation of the Group Chief Executive Officer of MTN, Mr Sifiso Dabengwa.
Dabengwa resigned following a 5.2 billion dollar fine imposed on the company by the Nigeria Telecommunication Commission for failing to disconnect unregistered subscribers.

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The stakeholders, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday, described the action of the former CEO as `honourable and worthy of emulation’.

Mr Lanre Ajayi, the President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) said that the inaction that led to the N1.04 trillion fines against the telecom company was not directly caused by Dabengwa.

”Yet he opted to take responsibility and I think that earned my respect for him, I applaud his courage.

”That is the kind of culture we have not imbibed in this country, a culture of taking responsibility. It is something that we must learn to do.

”When something good happens, we are quick to take credit, but when there are hurdles, like this kind of inaction that led to the huge fine, an average Nigerian will not take responsibility,” Ajayi said.

The CEO of Teledom Group, Mr Emmanuel Ekuweme said that the MTN CEO took a logical and honourable decision.
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Ekewueme said that what Dabengwa did was regarded as international best practice, which should be emulated by everyone.

”Nigeria is MTN’s largest market; it is the most active branch that gives MTN Group the highest revenue per year.

”Therefore, for them to have suffered this fate in Nigeria, it is not an act of vindictiveness.

“It is not anything unexpected, it is because of infringement on Nigeria laws, and hence, MTN must obey Nigeria laws.

”As a Group CEO, if he was found not to have been very sensitive to what was going on in Nigeria, or he was in the know of it and actually condoned it, then he has caused MTN Group a big embarrassment,” he said.

The President of the National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS), Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, said that having lost a lot in the South African Stock Exchange, Dabengwa saw the reason to resign.

Mr Joe Ozoh, a subscriber said that MTN should be held accountable for disobeying the regulations of its host country.

Ozoh lauded the telecoms regulator for living up to it duties, in this era of the ‘change’ movement, which was no longer business as usual.

Mr Gbenga Adebayo, the Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) said that the resignation of the Group CEO suggested that MTN as a business was taking the issue very seriously.

Adebayo said that it was hoped that the issue was resolved in the best interest of the industry and stakeholders.

NAN reports that MTN Group had appointed Mr Phuthuma Nhleko as Executive Chairman in an acting capacity for six months pending the appointment of a substantive CEO.

Nhleko had served as a non-executive Director and Chairman of MTN from July 2001 till June 2002 as well as an Executive Director, Group President and CEO in March 2011.

The acting chairman had promised to dialogue with the Nigerian regulator in addressing the issues of unregistered subscribers as a matter of urgency. (NAN)


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