Worried by the negative effects bank takeovers would have on acquisition of Etisalat among its 20 million subscribers,the Central Bank of Nigeria,(CBN)and the Nigerian Communications Commission,(NCC) had intervened to address such concerns.
After a meeting Thursday afternoon in Abuja between the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Umar Danbatta and the Central Bank Governor and his team, a decision was reached to intervene in the loan issue between Etisalat Nigeria and a consortium of commercial banks,a statement issued by NCC said.
The meeting,the statement said was held at the Central Bank Headquarters in Abuja and was convened by the financial regulator at the instance of NCC, the telecom regulator, to further deliberate on how best to stave off the attempt by the banks to take over Etisalat.
At the end of the meeting,the Central Bank of Nigeria agreed to invite Etisalat management and banks to a meeting on Friday,towards finding an amicable solution.
The NCC as a regulator of the telecom industry had moved quickly to intervene earlier in the week by reaching out to the CBN convinced of the negative impact such a bank take over will have on the industry.
NCC 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.
It would be noted that the telecommunications giant has been adversely hit by the pressure on the naira and the scarce foreign exchange which had affected it’s loan rising debt,spurring decisions by Banks to acquire the communication outfit.
In 2013,when Etisalat collected the loans,the naira equivalent was N192 billion,but may now have been ballooned to N366 billion based on the current interbank exchange rate,assuming that no part of the loan has been repaid.