Debt: Etisalat gets reprieve following NCC, CBN intervention

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Ozioma Ubabukoh

Reprieve came for Etisalat Nigeria on Friday following a meeting convened by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Communications Commission to find a quick resolution of the loan default crisis facing the mobile network operator.

The NCC said on Sunday that the meeting succeeded in halting the attempt by Etisalat’s creditors to subject the firm to a takeover.

“Receivership was completely taken off the table in a meeting that was very productive and constructive,” the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo, said in a statement.

He explained that the meeting, which held at the CBN office in Lagos, had the consortium of banks being owed and Etisalat’s representatives in attendance.

Ojobo added, “The banks and the mobile network operator agreed to concrete actions that will bring all parties closest to a resolution. The CBN and the NCC were able to secure for Etisalat the necessary oxygen to enable it to continue to meet urgent operational expenses.

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

“The NCC equally made it clear that everything necessary must be done to protect the 23 million Etisalat subscribers and also protect the telecoms industry to prevent potential investors from developing cold feet.”

In an effort to ensure that Etisalat remains in business while the consortium of banks meet their obligations to their customers, Ojobo said that another meeting would hold on Thursday to agree on a payment restructuring plan going forward.

“The NCC will lead the CBN in a possible crucial meeting with Etisalat’s shareholders anytime soon,” he added.

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