The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, stepped into the crisis that has wrapped the country’s fourth largest network operator, Etisalat. Reminding the consortium of banks that the firm is indebted to the tune of $1.2 million, it cannot take over Etisalat’s operating license without its approval. The NCC hence made it clear that the telecom’s operating license cannot be transferred without its approval.
The NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo, however wishes to reassure the 21 million Etisalat subscribers that it will do all within its regulatory power to ensure they continue to enjoy the services provided by the operator. Cushioning the impact of the take-over, without prejudice to the ongoing effort between Etisalat and the banks towards a negotiation, would be the main concern of the commission.
Serkan Okandan, Chief Financial Officer of Etisalat Group, who made the announcement on behalf of the UAE group and operators of Etisalat Nigeria, said both parties had reached a deal to commence the transfer of ownership to the banks by 5 p.m. on Friday, a development that immediately caused ripples in the telecoms sector.