Abuja (Sundiata Post) — The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), have successfully starved off the take-over of Etisalat Nigeria Telecommunication Company by a consortium of banks over a loan of N200 billion.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Umar Garba Danbatta, disclosed this on Wednesday at a news conference, shortly after the flag off of the ”NCC’s Year of Consumer”, which was held at Commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
He said NCC, as part of its strategic collaboration and partnership, waded into the matter to save the industry from a major calamity.
He, however, added that more negotiations would yet take place on the matter among the stakeholders.
Danbatta said the NCC and CBN have scheduled another meeting for next week among the major actors.
He pointed out that shareholders would also be involved in the meetings to ensure amicable resolution of the problem.
“At this point, let me assure that there is no cause for alarm regarding the matter, the regulators are on top of the situation and details of the resolution would be made available within the next couple of weeks.
“The NCC and the CBN have to intervene regarding this issue particularly in a manner that will not disturb the business operations of all the parties involved.
“In 2015 Nigerian telecom consumers spent a whopping $5.6 billion on telecommunication services. And in 2016 they topped it up by another $1 billion to make it $6.6 billion.
“Today’s event is remarkable and more remarkable is that the year 2017 is dedicated to the Nigerian Telecom consumer. A management decision that compels us to seek to amplify our activities towards ensuring that the consumer enjoys a consumer experience that is enhanced and consistent in time and granted.
“Just as their patronage is important, they must not and cannot be taken for granted. NCC knows and recognizes this. That is why 2017 and I dare say, and even beyond the consumer will be be our focus. NCC intends to inform and educate the consumer with the sole intent to protecting and empowering them to make the right decisions,” he said.
In his remarks at the function, the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, said the Federal Government has articulated position and direction on issues that are key to ICT development at global and national levels in collaboration with the NCC.
He said the Ministry is working on formulating cogent policies, frameworks and guidelines on protecting ICT consumers, especially in telecommunications.
“Nigeria has established itself as one of the fastest growing (and as such one of the most important) mobile cellular markets in the world. The normal anticipated consumer data-base should be hosting about 450 million records of users, if each consumer joins at least two networks vendors with each having at least a single SIM card,” the Minister said.