Premium Times reports that Etisalat Nigeria, which is indebted to a consortium of foreign and Nigerian banks that includes Guaranty Trust Bank, Zenith Bank and Access Bank, may be taken over today by said banks.
Nigeria’s 4th mobile network operator is reported to be indebted to the tune of $1.72 billion (about N541.8 billion) from a loan obtained in 2015. The operator commenced business in Nigeria in 2009.
An excerpt from the Premium Times article:
The loan, which involved a foreign-backed guaranty bond, was for Etisalat to finance a major network rehabilitation and expansion of its operational base in Nigeria.
However, following the failure of the company to meet its debt servicing schedule agreed since 2016, the three Nigerian banks, prodded by their foreign partners, reported Etisalat to banking sector regulator, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and its communications sector counterpart, the NCC.
Although Etisalat blamed its inability to fulfil its obligation to the banks on the current economic recession in Nigeria, the banks said their attempt to recover the loan by all means was fuelled by the pressure from the Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON, demanding immediate cut down on the rate of their non-performing loans.
The report claims that a “top source at the NCC said late Tuesday that the commission had approved the takeover, which is expected to occur today.”
If true, this is a grave situation the telecom operator has found itself in. We wait. You can read the full Premium Times report HERE.