THE Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria
(CBN) have got reprieve for Etisalat on the loan default crisis facing the
Mr Tony Ojobo, the Director of Public Affairs of NCC said in a statement on
Saturday in Lagos, that the reprieve came following a meeting convened by CBN
and NCC to find a quick resolution to the crisis.
”Friday’s meeting succeeded in halting the attempt by Etisalat’s creditors
at bringing it under any form of take over.
”Receivership was completely taken off the table in a meeting that was very
productive and constructive.
”The meeting, which held at the CBN office in Lagos, had the consortium of
banks being owed and Etisalat in attendance.
”The banks and the mobile network operator agreed to concrete actions that
will bring all parties closest to a resolution,” Ojobo said.
He said that CBN and NCC were able to secure for Etisalat the necessary
“oxygen” to enable it continue to meet urgent operational expenses.
Ojobo said that CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele who chaired the meeting,
was firm in declaring what needed to be done by both parties towards a quick
He said that NCC equally made it clear that everything necessary must be
done to protect the 23 million Etisalat subscribers.
The director said that there was also the need to protect the telecom
industry to prevent potential investors from developing cold feet.
According to him, effort has been made to ensure that Etisalat remains in
business while the consortium of banks meet their obligations to their customers.
”A meeting will hold on March 16 to agree on a payment restructuring path
”The NCC will lead the CBN in a possible crucial meeting with Etisalat’s
shareholders anytime soon,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on March 8, there was an
attempt by a consortium of banks to take over Etisalat, because of its N541.8
A consortium of some foreign and Nigerian banks, including Guaranty Trust
Bank, Access Bank and Zenith Bank, have been having a running battle with the
mobile telephone operator, over a loan facility totalling 1.72 billion dollars
(about N541.8 billion) obtained in 2015.
The banks said their attempt to recover the loan by all means, was fuelled
by the pressure from the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), demanding
immediate cut down on the rate of their non-performing loans.
NCC appears not to be favourably disposed to the takeover proposal; as it
believed that Etisalat is not only a viable going concern, but also willing and
able to negotiate the servicing of its loans.
Etisalat is Nigeria’s fourth largest telecommunications operator with about
21 million subscribers as at January 2017.
It commenced business in Nigeria in 2009.