Sunday, 25 June 2017

CBN AND NCC MOVE TO SAVE ETISALAT NIGERIA FROM ASSETS STRIPPING AND JOB LOSSES

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) have announced that they would intervene in the ongoing loan dispute between Etisalat Nigeria and some Nigerian banks.

The CBN and NCC said their decision to intervene is aimed at preventing job losses and asset stripping at Etisalat Nigeria, which may arise if banks commence their normal loan recovery process. The regulators said Etisalat Nigeria has over 4,000 staff.

“Although it should ordinarily not be the role of a regulator to decide how individual bad loans are resolved, the CBN believes that Etisalat is a systemically important telecommunications company with over 20 million subscribers that if not well handled, may have negative implications for the banking system itself,” said Isaac Okorafor, CBN’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications.

On Tuesday, Etisalat Group announced that a consortium of Nigerian banks had instructed the Abu Dhabi-based telecoms company to hand over its 45 percent stake in Etisalat Nigeria after debt restructuring talks over a $1.2 billion loan failed. The Nigerian Banks involved in the loan deal include: Zenith Bank, GTBank, First Bank, UBA, Fidelity Bank, Access Bank, Ecobank, FCMB, Stanbic IBTC Bank, and Union Bank.

The CBN and NCC said they plan to meet with the banks and IHS Towers, Etisalat Nigeria’s tower managers, “in the coming days” in order to achieve “a win-win outcome” for all stakeholders. The regulators said they have implored the consortium of banks to reassess their position in dealing with Etisalat Nigeria. (Financial Nigeria)