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N541.8bn Loan: NCC & CBN Avert Banks’ Takeover of Etisalat

NAN

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Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have got reprieve for Etisalat on the loan default crisis facing the company.

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, Godwin Emefiele who chaired the meeting, was firm in declaring what needed to be done by both parties towards a quick resolution.

He said that NCC equally made it clear that everything necessary must be done to protect Etisalat subscribers.

The director said that there was also need for protection of 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 going forward. The NCC will lead the CBN in a possible crucial meeting with Etisalat’s shareholders anytime soon,” he said.

On March 8, there was an attempt by a consortium of banks to take over Etisalat, because of its N541.8 billion debt.

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 (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.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May 1976 to gather and distribute news on Nigeria and cover events of interest to Nigeria at the international level for the benefit of the Nigerian Media and the Public.

5 Comments

  1. Anon

    March 11, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    Who’s their Chairman again? A well known egg-headed asset stripper. Hello UBA!

  2. Ewa

    March 11, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    This is serious. HBO well done sir…

  3. tim

    March 11, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    cnn owes me 4 million us d ollors plus the 2000 dollors for the non resident account they had me open,if I could a ttach all the recepts a nd paperwork I would,i have called them to many times to count and emailed them with my documents and recepts again to many times to count, a someone needs to step in and help me out here,cbn is just a thief disguised as a bank do any goverment or cia needs to step in and get my money from these guys

  4. nene

    March 11, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    they could’ve used some of that ambassador money to pay their debts. smh. i don’t know who advices nigerian companies…that’s what you get when you hire people on a personal basis.

  5. xplorenollywood.com

    March 11, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    This is deep! So the business they wanted to use the loan for, didn’t it yield much? Which way forward.

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