The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said newly morphed 9mobile telecoms firm is on a 180 days period of stabilization.
Mr. Emefiele made the disclosure while fielding questions from newsmen at the Monetary Policy Committee meeting (MPC) of the CBN that held today in Abuja.
TheNewsGuru reports the CBN governor as saying the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the CBN intervened in the Etisalat Nigeria crisis for the effects that it would have on about 20 million subscribers on the network and its more than 4000 workforce.
Etisalat Nigeria could not service the $1.2 billion loan it took from a consortium of 13 Nigerian banks, but Mr. Emefiele said both the NCC and the CBN would not allow the banks use this as an advantage against the telecoms firm.
“It is important that we do not allow any creditor who feels advantaged to take decision that affects other important stakeholders and creditors that operate within Etisalat.
“That was what the NCC and the CBN observed that the attempt by the creditors was going to lead to dismemberment of that company.
“We could not allow about 20 million subscribers of Etisalat to be running helter-skelter without services.
“And we could not allow 4000 or more staff of this company to just run in disarray because something had happened.
“That is the reason NCC supported by the CBN decided to intervene to say please gentlemen we understand your interest in this company; either you are a creditor or a service provide, let’s take things easy so we do not hurt the interest of others that also have interest in this company,” Emefiele said.
Given the intervention by the NCC and the CBN, Etisalat Nigeria metamorphosed into 9mobile ensuring that the subscribers do not lose services and the workers do not lose their jobs.
“But I must say that intervention has been positive. Etisalat has retained its subscriber base. Its 4000 staff or so have continued their work and indeed revenue for the month of June which was seen to be tumultuous for this company had remained stable at least N16 billion monthly.
“A lot of people who were watching from the sideline thought Etisalat revenue was going to drop drastically and that there was going to be flight to safety by the subscribers, but this has not happened.
“This company, by its activities and operations, I will say remain strong, its revenue remains strong.
“The intervention through the institutionalization of an interim board headed by the regulators, I must say here that it is temporary, and our own plan is that this should not take more than maximum 90 to 180 days,” the CBN governor said.
He further stated that “The company’s advisers have been appointed to midwife a process for a major investor to intervene in the company and take it over,” adding that he is “very gratified at the surge by potential investors who have written showing interest”.
“What will happen is that this interest would be eventually made open. The advisers will advertise for RFP. Everybody will go into the data room and conduct their due diligence and after that the best person that presents himself for the parade would win,” Emefiele concluded.