Home Business N377bn Debt: NCC, CBN and 13 banks meet to save Etisalat from closure
Business - March 10, 2017

N377bn Debt: NCC, CBN and 13 banks meet to save Etisalat from closure

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and 13 Nigerian banks will be meeting today over Etisalat Communications N377 billion debt.

NCC said in a statement on Thursday that the meeting will be focused on how to restructure the telcos debts.

Director of Public Affairs of NCC, Tony Ojobo, said CBN and the management of NCC, led by its Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, met yesterday to find an amicable resolution to the N377 billion owed by the telecom operator to the 13 banks.

According to Ojobo, the meeting which was held at the CBN headquarters in Abuja, was convened by the central bank at the instance of NCC, to further deliberate on how best to stave off the attempt by the banks to takeover Etisalat.

“At the end of the meeting, the EVC said CBN agreed to invite Etisalat’s management and the banks to a meeting tomorrow (Friday) towards finding an amicable resolution.”

According to Ojobo, NCC, as regulator of the telecommunications industry, moved quickly to intervene earlier in the week by reaching out to the CBN and convinced the latter of the negative impact such a takeover by the banks would have on the industry.

He said the commission was worried about the fate of the over 20 million Etisalat subscribers and the wrong signals this may send to potential investors in the telecom industry.

Etisalat also confirmed yesterday that the company was still negotiating with its creditors on new modalities to refinance the $1.2 billion loan it took in 2013 for network upgrade and expansion.

The telecom company dismissed as untrue any plans by its creditors to takeover its management, explaining that discussions between it and its creditors were ongoing and a joint statement would be issued to the public as soon as discussions for new method of refinancing the loans are concluded.

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