Dyepkazah Shibayan, Abuja
House of Representatives on Tuesday, took out its anger at a representative of MTN, Austin Iyasere, by walking him out after the embattled telcom company, snubbed it and refused to have its Chief Executive Officer, Ferdinand Moolman, appear before the House as summoned.
Recall that the Telecommunications Committee had been mandated, by a resolution of the House, to look into the fine settlement negotiations between MTN and the Federal Government.
The House Committee on Telecommunications, chaired by Saheed Fijabi, expressed anger at a letter sent by MTN referring it to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and others, to get the information it was seeking.
The Committee wondered why MTN will refer it to agencies and Ministries which are regulated and over sighted by the legislature.
The letter which angered the committee read, “In this regard we wish to refer you to the appropriate government agencies, specifically the Nigerians Communications Commission, Offices of the Honourable Ministers of Communication and Justice as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria which agencies are in a position to furnish your committee with relevant information on this issue”.
A member of the Committee, Hon. Ossai Ossai, while expressing his anger quoted Sections 87 and 88 of the standing orders of the House which empowered the parliament to summon anyone before it and demand for information.
On his part, Johnson Agbonayinma said that due to MTN’s negligence, a lot of Nigerians have been killed because it refused to disconnect unregistered SIM cards which the insurgents used adding that in as much Nigeria wants investors, the law must be respected.
“MTN is treading on a Tiger’s back. We are here to represent our constituencies and we are talking about peoples lives. This is no joke”, he said angrily.
The Chairman of the Committee said it was obvious that the MTN CEO deliberately does not want to appear before the committee.
The Committee further summoned the MTN CEO and the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to appear before it.