9Mobile: NCC intervened to save investors, workers, subscribers
By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) took the interests of investors, subscribers and employees of Etisalat into consideration to align with the position of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to peacefully resolve the issues of Etisalat Nigeria (now 9Mobile) and the consortium of 13 banks.
The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) and Chief Executive of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta declared this when he received in audience Chief Executive of 9Mobile, Mr. Boye Olusanya, and Vice-President, (Regulatory Affairs) Mr Ibrahim Dikko in his office in Abuja.
Danbatta said, “The over $2billion Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by Mubadala of United Arab Emirates (UAE) was hanging, while 20million Subscribers and over 2000 workers would have been affected if we did not intervene in the matter with a view to finding an amicable resolution”
Resolving the issue was also partly to forestall any form of disincentive to the FDI, Danbatta explained
According to him, if the company had gone under, this would have created a social problem especially with the job of over 2,000 Nigerians on the line. He added that such a situation was capable of creating security challenges for the Country.
Prof. Danbatta further stated that NCC collaborated with CBN to avert a looming economic disaster adding “we want to see a viable and thriving 9Mobile and we want to cooperate with you so that things can move seamlessly and be successful”, he said.
Danbatta further assured the 9mobile team of the Commission’s cooperation to grow its network.
Speaking earlier, the Chief Executive of 9Mobile, Mr. Boye Olusanya, thanked the EVC and the NCC Management for its cooperation that led to a seamless change and asked for concessions especially in the area of spectrum assignment, revisit of data floor price, review of interconnect rates to asymmetric platform, concessional foreign exchange access, national roaming and others “in order for 9Mobile to shore up its revenue and meet its financial obligations accordingly.”