The Nigerian Communications Commission has explained that it took the interest of investors, subscribers and employees of Etisalat Nigeria into consideration to align with the Central Bank of Nigeria in order to resolve the debt issue of the company, which is now known as 9mobile, and a consortium of 13 banks.
The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said this when he received in audience the Chief Executive of 9mobile, Mr. Boye Olusanya, and Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Mr. Ibrahim Dikko, according to a statement made available to our correspondents by the Director of Public Affairs, NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo, on Wednesday.
Danbatta was quoted as saying, “The over $2bn Foreign Direct Investment by Mubadala of the United Arab Emirates was hanging, while 20 million subscribers and over 2,000 workers would have been affected if we did not intervene in the matter with a view to finding an amicable resolution.
“We want to see a viable and thriving 9mobile and we want to cooperate with you so that things can move seamlessly and be successful.”
He explained that resolving the issue was also partly to forestall any form of disincentive to foreign investment in the country.
According to him, if the company had gone under, it would have created a social problem, especially with the job of over 2,000 Nigerians on the line, adding that such a situation was capable of creating security challenges.
Danbatta stated that the commission collaborated with the CBN to avert a looming economic disaster.
The NCC boss assured the 9mobile team of the commission’s cooperation to grow its network.
Olusanya expressed appreciation to the NCC management for its cooperation that led to a seamless change in name and asked for concessions, especially in the area of spectrum assignment.
He also asked the NCC to revisit the issue of data floor price and to review interconnect rates as well as national roaming to ensure that 9mobile shored up its revenue and meet its financial obligations.