From Etisalat Nigeria to 9mobile: Answers to your questions

Posted by Mister Mobility

Etisalat Nigeria has announced its new brand name, 9mobile. Of course, subscribers have questions and we have compiled clear answers.

Etislat took a loan from a consortium of banks and due to a number of factors, the telecom operator stopped servicing the loan. After talks to restructure the debt failed, the consortium took over management of the company. The promoter of Etisalat Nigeria and chairman of the board, Hakeem Belo-Osagie, resigned. The banks announced a new board for Etisalat Nigeria.

This meant that Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services (EMTS Holding), core shareholders in Etisalat, had to transfer its full shareholding to the legal representative of the consortium of banks. The Etisalat group owned 70% of Etisalat Nigeria’s shares through EMTS Holding. The remaining 30% is owned by Hakeem Bello-Osagie and others.

Subsequently, Etisalat UAE announced it was divesting its stake gave a 3-week period for the use of the Etisalat brand to be dropped. The new management of the company has adopted the new name, 9mobile Telecom.

Are The Banks Now Investors In 9mobile?

Etisalat Group in the United Arab Emirates, on June 20, said it had transferred its 45 per cent stake and 25 per cent preference shares in Etisalat Nigeria to a loan trustee representing the banks. The trustee is United Capital Trust, a subsidiary of United Capital PLC. The shares are held in trust on behalf of the banks until a buyer is found.

No; the banks have not become investors. The divested shares of Etisalat UAE are held in trust pending when a new investor is found. The new board appointed by the banks will manage things to improve investor confidence and hopefully attract a new investor.

What Next?

It will interest mobilistas to know that the new Managing Director of 9mobile, Boye Olusanya, was a part of the team that helped manage the transition process of Celtel Nigeria (now Airtel Nigeria) years back. He was a pioneer board member of ECONET Wireless Nigeria (the original network that transitioned to celtel, among other names to become Airtel Nigeria) and became deputy managing director of Celtel Nigeria. So, he has experience dealing with the kind of scenario that 9mobile is in now.

Is this image 9mobile’s logo?

No; it isn’t. 9mobile is yet to unveil their logo. Stay tuned for more updates.


  1. I immediately thought of mobile9- an independent appstore I used to patronize in the hey days of Android. I wish Orange or Vodacom bought over Etisalat though.

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