Dabengwa resigns as MTN CEO

09 November 2015 |


Sifiso Dabengwa, chief executive at MTN Group, has resigned from his position following a $5.2 billion fine from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The Nigerian government has sanctioned the company for failing to disconnect 5.1 million unregistered subscribers, and the penalty is based upon $1,008 per unregistered customer. It has until November 16 to pay off the penalty.

“Due to the most unfortunate prevailing circumstances occurring at MTN Nigeria, I, in the interest of the company and its shareholders, have tendered my resignation with immediate effect,” Dabengwa said in a statement.

Non-executive chairman Phuthuma Nhleko will step in as executive chairman for a maximum of six months while the company searches for Dabengwa’s permanent replacement.

“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,” Nhleko said.

Nigeria is MTN’s largest market and earlier this year the company lost a number of high end customers in the country to rival player Etisalat.

In July, MTN South Africa CEO Ahmad Farroukh resigned from his position following strikes from the country’s Communications Workers Union (CWU) over wages and bonuses.