The Federal Government says that Etisalat Nigeria has reached “amicable resolution” with creditor banks poised to take over the number four mobile phone company.
Mr Tony Ojobo, Director Public Affairs at the Nigerian Communications Commission confirmed this in a statement issued this morning by the telecoms industry regulator and made available to Technology Times.
NCC and sister banking sector regulator, Central Bank of Nigeria recently intervened to save Etisalat Nigeria over an estmated $1.2 billion owed 13 banks.
“The Commission is pleased to note that Etisalat and its creditors have successfully reached an amicable resolution of key issues pertaining to its indebtedness, and that a smooth transitional process is currently ongoing on mutually agreed terms”, according to the telecoms regulator.
The regulator says its latest assurance to the market following its “Press Release of June 20, 2017 on the above, and in response to stakeholder enquiries regarding the current position on Etisalat Nigeria.”
According to Ojobo, “the Commission is confident that the amicable resolutions reached by the parties will further strengthen Etisalat’s capacity to continue to provide services to its over 20 million customers and to fulfil its obligations to its other stakeholders as a going concern, regardless of any changes that the parties have agreed to Etisalat’s ownership, its Board and/or its Executive Management.”
Its sister regular also came within radar when NCC acknowledged “the pivotal role of the Central Bank of Nigeria in resolving the matter in a manner that protects the interests of all stakeholders – especially the creditor banks and Etisalat’s over 20 million customers.”
The telecoms regulator cited the need to save Etisalat Nigeria as the reason that justified its initial intervention, which it also backed up by its establishing laws.
“We further wish to assure that as empowered by the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, the Commission will continue to work assiduously with all industry stakeholders to ensure that the Nigerian telecommunications industry remains capable of playing its critical role as a key driver of national socio-economic development”, the agency says.
According to Ojobo, “NCC is mindful of the need to sustain the industry’s significant contribution to National GDP, employment and infrastructure roll-out at all times. The Commission’s intervention in the matter was informed by these considerations, and we are pleased at the success of the ongoing process.”