The disagreement between Nigerian owned telecoms giant, GLOBACOM, and MTN over interconnect debt seems to have reached a crescendo.
According to impeccable industry sources, MTN had tried to intimidate GLOBACOM but the telecoms company stood its ground by challenging MTN to prove whatever case it had against it.
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 own interests and never through proxies. Thus it was bizarre that MTN paid VAT on its behalf when it was already an established 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 and also issued seven bank cheques each of N500m making a total of N3.5b. but MTN later opted for the bank guarantee. GLOBACOM then requested for 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 clearly 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 painstaking reconciliation, MTN can now go ahead to call up the First Bank payment guarantee dated 17th January 2024. This shall represent the full and final payment.