Nairametrics| Stanbic IBTC, on Wednesday, disclosed that telecommunications operator, Etisalat Nigeria still owes the bank debt to the tune of $24 million. Discussions on restructuring the loan were ongoing.
StanbicIBTC is the second Tier-two bank to disclose its debt exposure to Etisalat, after Fidelity Bank claimed a few weeks ago, that Etisalat was also indebted to it to the tune of N17.5 billion. For StanbicIBTC, the loan, however, makes up a small proportion of its overall loan portfolio, which stood at N368 billion as at year ended December 2016.
The current disclosure means nine Nigerian banks are yet to disclose how much Etisalat owes them. The banks had given Etisalat a syndicated loan of $1.2 billion in 2013 to finance the expansion of its network. A combination of declining revenues and a depreciation in the exchange rate of the Naira, had contributed to the loan default by Etisalat; a move which prompted the banks to threaten to take over the telecoms firm. The CBN and NCC however stepped in to mediate.
Neither the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) or any of the banks has disclosed how Etisalat plans to pay back the loan.