Many see this is a possible ripple effect of the massive fine given to MTN Nigeria recently. Senior executives at the company, who are in Nigeria to meet with the regulator to discuss the fine, will decide on whether to make changes to senior management, which is headed by local Chief Executive Officer Michael Ikpoki.
This may not be unconnected with the $5.2 billion to the telecom operator by the country’s telecommunications regulator for failing to disconnect customers with unregistered SIM cards, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Meanwhile, Ikpoki and MTN’s main spokesman at its head office in Johannesburg, who were called to confirm the development, declined to comment on the matter, but the spokeswoman for MTN Nigeria, Chineze Gbenga-Oluwatoye, was quoted as saying, ‘‘We know of no such thing.
According to reports, MTN shares have declined by about 19 percent this week in Johannesburg, the biggest three-day drop since 2008, valuing the company at about 288 billion rand ($21 billion).
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had at the weekend slammed N1.4 trillion penalty on the Nigerian largest telecom operator for missing a deadline to disconnect 5.1 million subscribers.
The company’s stock was also said to have declined 2.6 percent to 155.85 rand at the close of work yesterday, the lowest since October 2012.