Fresh Details have emerged relating to the controversy trailing the acquisition of Visafone by MTN and the subsequent refusal of the NCC to approve the transfer of spectrum license held by Visafone to MTN. An article which originally appeared in Thisday outlined summary details of the transaction history.
- Visafone Communications had won the Unified Access Services Licence in 2007 and had complied with the terms and conditions given it by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) when it had decided to sell the company to MTN in 2015.
- On July 13 2015, Visafone applied for the approval of NCC to enable MTN Nigeria acquire 100 per cent equity of Visafone, by virtue of share transfer agreement, without any request for the unified spectrum licence transfer.
- On October 5, 2015, after due consideration and consistent with its due process and procedure, NCC reviewed Visafone’s request for the 100 per cent transfer of its shares to MTN on and granted Approval-in-Principle to Visafone Communications for the proposed transaction, subject to meeting NCC’s conditions.
- Visafone then complied with the conditions outlined by the NCC for the sale to go through. After confirming that Visafone had actually carried out all the conditions it specified for the shares transfer, the NCC granted final approval for the 100% equity of Visafone to be transferred to MTN Nigeria.
- After completing the transfer,the NCC ordered Visafone to submit a certified true copy of statement of share capital and return of allotment of shares from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), duly filed at the CAC, or an extract from the register of members as well as a certified true copy of particulars of directors or any change therein, duly filed at CAC for record purposes.
- By December 2015, all the requirements stipulated by the NCC had been met and the deal was sealed. It was months after the deal that Visafone submitted a fresh demand for licence transfer. Specifically, Visafone made another request to NCC on June 9, 2016, for the transfer of the licence.
- The NCC is not totally ruling out the possibility of transferring the licence to MTN, but says the request for transfer of licences was not yet considered, but under review. The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, specifically said the NCC would hold a public forum to discuss the issue of licence transfer.