Full Details Of How CBN, NCC Stopped Banks From Taking Over Etisalat

Full Details Of How CBN, NCC Stopped Banks From Taking Over Etisalat

Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, and the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, last Friday secured a reprieve for Etisalat, which is facing a N541.8 billion debt crisis.

The company was set to be taken over by its creditors because it has defaulted in repaying the loan.

Tony Ojobo, the Director of Public Affairs of the 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.

Ojobo said in the statement: “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 was held at the CBN office in Lagos with the consortium of creditor banks 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 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 the 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 the 23 million Etisalat subscribers.

The director said 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.

He said: “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.”

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 demanding immediate cut down on the rate of their non-performing loans.

The NCC appears not to be favourably disposed to the takeover proposal as it believes 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.



  1. I hope NCC saying that the Operators 23million subscribers should be protected knows that this N541.8b are Depositors money who need greater protection because they are helping to grow the Economy by depositing their money in the banks for lending to users like Etisalat. To me, has Etisalat explained satisfactorily, where all this money went to, considering the fact that it has as much as 23million subscribers base, are the interveners convinced that Etisalat is not suffering from bad or, and incompetent management? What is the economic situation of the other Operators, are they in similar situations? And if they are not, is it enough reason to scrutinize Etisalat very well to ensure that its promoters and directors have not diverted the monies and now fraudulently, want govt to come give them additional money from the struggling, poor average Nigerian tax payers. That’s the way of these our so-called Nigerian “big-men”!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.