CBN heads Etisalat board pending settlement of unpaid loan to banks
It might be a temporary plan, but it would save s lot of interest groups in Etisalat to keep hope alive. They are to be happy to hear that CBN the embattled firm will not go under after all. Here is a bit of the detail:
The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) is said to have succeeded in brokering a peace in the business deal between a Etisalat abd a consortium of banks, leading to mass resignation of the board abd the management team.
As a transitional arrangement before final resolution of how to offset the $1.2 billion debt the teleco owes a consortium of 13 banks, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN,) Deputy Governor, Mr. Joseph Nnanna , is apoointed to serve as Etisalat chairman, while Mr. Boye Olusanya is to serve as Chief Executive Officer and Mr. Funke Ighodaro as chief financial officer.
This is confirmed by the Etisalat Nigeria’s vice president, Regulatory Affairs, Ibrahim Dikko, to newsmen on Tuesday.
He said the CBN had given theassurance to the lenders that a quicker means of sourcing funds to reduce the effect of the unpaid loan would be made.
“But the CBN did not commit itself to any funding porocess that will lead to exit from the indebtedness, still the hope is renewed, ” he said.
Recall that last Monday , the Chief Executive Matthew Wilsher, resigned after chairman Hakeem Belo-Osagie departed.
Last month lenders initiated changes in Etisalat Nigeria’s shareholding structure to enforce their rights under the loan default agreement. UAE’s Etisalat has said it is carrying its 45 percent stake in the Nigerian arm at nil value.
A source at the telecoms industry regulator said the new interim board made up of six members will operate for six months and will include a member representing the shareholders.
Regulators have said they want to protect Etisalat Nigeria’s 4,000 workers and are seeking to prevent lenders placing the telecoms firm in receivership in order to avoid a wider debt crisis. They held talks with Etisalat’s lenders last week, the regulatory source said.
Etisalat Nigeria has a 14 % share of the country’s mobile market, behind MTN with 47 % Globacom with 20% and Airtel, a subsidiary of India’s Bharti Airtel, with 19%.