The bitter disputes between the nearly monopolistic South African company MTN and the Nigerian-owned telecom juggernaut GLOBACOM appear to have reached a fever pitch.
There appears to have been a peak in the bitter disputes between the nearly monopoly South African company MTN and the Nigerian-owned telecom juggernaut GLOBACOM.
According to impeccable industry sources, MTN had tried to intimidate and blackmail GLOBACOM on its soil, but the telecoms company stood its ground by challenging MTN to prove whatever case it had instead of engaging in cheap blackmail. It turned out to be a fight worth fighting. From experience, GLOBACOM was used to being harassed by those who failed to realise that its promoters organically built its business conglomerates and never through surreptitious processes.
MTN had slammed a whopping sum of over N7.05 billion on GLOBABOM, covering interconnect charges of N1.6 billion (which was already paid before the controversial publication), VAT of N1.7 billion allegedly paid on behalf of GLOBACOM, and a compounded interest of N3.6 billion, which GLOBACOM considered preposterous since it is the absolute prerogative of companies to pay its interests and never through proxies.
Thus, it was bizarre that MTN paid VAT on its behalf when it was already a fact that GLOBACOM met all its obligations to FIRS.
To establish that GLOBACOM was not short of funds but only fighting for its fundamental rights and integrity in the industry, the company posted a payment guarantee of N3,489,961,881.48. Also, it issued seven bank cheques each of N500m making a total of N3.5b. but MTN later opted for the bank guarantee. GLOBACOM then requested the commencement of a reconciliation exercise. The earlier threat to disconnect GLO was obviously in bad faith and poor taste since it had even paid the N1.6 billion before the publication and was only seeking transparency in the MTN claims.
After the parties sat down for due diligence with the regulators at NCC offices in Lagos, it was established that contrary to the MTN insistence on claiming the earlier published sums, the interest element of the interconnect debt due from GLOBACOM to MTN stands at N2,368,290,400.81.
In view of this detailed reconciliation, MTN can now go ahead to call up the First Bank payment guarantee dated 17th January 2024. This will represent the full and final payment.
GLOBACOM insists that MTN should never have been pampered to the extent that it wields the power of life and death over homegrown competitors.
According to checks on MTN operations elsewhere, this is the same modus operandi that led to several major telecom companies collapsing and fleeing from Ghana…