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Sifiso Dabengwa

CEO’s resignation ‘not an admission of guilt’ — MTN

Sifiso Dabengwa
Sifiso Dabengwa

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.

MTN on Monday confirmed that Dabengwa had resigned following the company having been fined $5.2bn in Nigeria for failing to disconnect five million unregistered SIM in a timely manner in the country. MTN said in a market update to shareholders that it’s still engaging with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on its mega fine in Nigeria.

Dabengwa further said in a statement on Monday morning that his resignation was in the “interest of the company and its shareholders”.

“He went on to say that it was an honouring gesture – our position is that we don’t want his resignation to indicate or confirm any wrongdoing,” Chris Maroleng, MTN group executive of Corporate Affairs.

Maroleng would also not be drawn on whether MTN’s fine in Nigeria could be a means for the country to make up for its lower oil revenues this year.

“We cannot really further any speculation around the intentions of the regulator – though the size of the fine took us by surprise,” Maroleng said.

It’s been widely reported that the NCC has set MTN a payment deadline of November 16.

“We anticipate before then – November 16 – some kind of response with the authorities in Nigeria,” Maroleng said.

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