Etisalat Nigeria metamorphoses to 9Mobile

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

Etisalat Nigeria is to change its brand name to 9Mobile, it has been gathered.  Mubadala Group of United Arab Emirates (UAE), its parent firm had pulled out of Etisalat Nigeria due to the inability of parties in the $1.2billion loan advanced to the carrier by a consortium of 13 local banks to arrive at an amicable settlement on the repayment terms of the outstanding part of the loan.

Last week, the a three-week notice was given to the new board on the brand name change.

Determined not to allow the firm with some 21million customers go down the drains, the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervened.

The intervention gave birth to a board constituted the tripod of the regulators and the affected banks.

A former deputy managing director of Celtel Nigeria (now Airtel Nigeria), Boye Olusanya, was appointed as the chief executive officer of Etisalat Nigeria to oversee the transition.

The board is headed by Dr. Joseph Nnanna, a Deputy Governor (Financial System Stability) at the CBN.

The board is expected to supervise a transition of the telco.

At the peak of the crisis, the NCC had warned the banks that Etisalat Nigeria’s operating licence was not transferable, effectively stopping the banks from taking ownership of the telco

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