While anonymous bank and NCC officials have disclosed this to various news platforms, Habari has confirmed that Etisalat Nigeria has been taken over by three Nigerian banks. The takeover is a result of debts incurred over the years by Etisalat.
According to sources, Etisalat obtained loans — amounting to $1.72 billion — from a consortium of foreign and Nigerian banks in 2015 to facilitate reconstruction and expansion of Etisalat’s network operations here in Nigeria.
The banks claimed that they are being pressured by Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) to reclaim the loan by all means.
According to the unidentified NCC officials, the NCC as the regulatory body for telecoms in Nigeria, has tried best possible means, interacting with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to see that the banks would not have the right to take over. However, as of Tuesday, the NCC approved the takeover, which will occur today.
An unidentified Etisalat official blames their inability to pay back the incurred loan on the current recession in Nigeria. The banks said to be involved in the takeover are Access Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank and Zenith Bank.
What does this mean for Etisalat Nigeria?
Etisalat Nigeria is a subsidiary of Etisalat, a multinational United Arab Emirate-based telecommunications services provider, which operates in about seventeen countries, in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
There are certain rights that parent companies have over their subsidiary companies, and before a takeover can ensue, these rights will have to be examined.
However, with this takeover, does this mean that Etisalat Nigeria is no longer under the protection of her parent company in UAE? And what will be the fate of the employees and subscribers with this acquisition?