$1.2bn Debt: Etisalat, Banks Resolve Amicably, Says NCC

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By Nse Anthony-Uko

ABUJA, (Sundiata Post) – Etisalat and its creditor banks have successfully reached an amicable resolution on key issues pertaining to the telco’s indebtedness, the Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC), said in a statement on Tuesday, adding that a smooth transitional process is currently ongoing on mutually agreed terms between the parties.

The Commission also expressed confidence that the amicable resolutions reached by the parties will further strengthen Etisalat’s capacity to continue to provide services to its over 20million 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.

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“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.

“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,” said Tony Ojobo. Director, Public Affairs of NCC in a statement made available to Realnews today.

The Commission also 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.

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The debt crisis rocking Etisalat Nigeria took a new turn Monday when the company’s chief executive officer (CEO), Mr. Matthew Willsher, and chief financial officer (CFO), Mr. Wole Obasunloye, resigned their appointments.

Their resignation came a few days after its Emirati non-executive directors (NEDs), representing the interests of Mubadala Development Company and Emirates Telecoms Group Company (Etisalat Group) also stepped down from the board, following the Nigerian company’s inability to meet its loan repayments amounting to $1.2 billion to 13 Nigerian banks.

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