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Nigeria slashes MTN fine by a third to $3.4B for unregistered SIM cards as Nigeria CEO resigns

LAGOS, Nigeria — MTN says Nigeria is slashing its massive fine by more than a third to $3.4 billion, and the CEO of the embattled Nigerian subsidiary of Africa's largest telecommunications giant is resigning.

A statement Thursday from the South African-based group announced major management changes to strengthen oversight and regulatory compliance across all 22 countries of its operations in Africa and the Middle East.

The $3.4 billion, down from $5.2 billion, still is the largest meted out in the telecommunications industry, according to experts.

The Nigerian Communications Commission fined MTN for failing to deactivate 5.2 million unregistered cellphone SIM cards by an August deadline despite many warnings.

It's a national security issue in Nigeria, where Islamic extremists use cellphones to detonate bombs and criminals use them in kidnappings and armed robberies.

The Associated Press

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