The chairman, House committee on Telecommunications, Hon. Saheed Akinade-Fijabi has threatened that the House of Representatives may be forced to stop the ongoing sale of 9mobile to Teleology Holdings.
The lawmaker raised the alarm at the resumed hearing while reacting to petitions and concerns raised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and some of the vendors owed by 9mobile.
At the hearing, Umar Dambatta, NCC Executive Vice Chairman debunked reports on the payment of $50 million non- refundable fee allegedly paid by the preferred bidder, Teleology Holdings. Dambatta denied any knowledge of the account the money was paid into. A representative of the CBN also denied the payment of such fund.
Recall that various reports in the media had earlier announced the payment of the $50 million nonrefundable by the preferred bidder, Teleology Holdings.
Embattled 9mobile (formerly known as Etisalat Nigeria) defaulted on a $1.2 billion loan it had obtained from a consortium of 13 banks led by GT Bank. This led to the parent company Etisalat of the UAE pulling out and relinquishing its 45%stake in the telco.
The banks threatened to take over the firm but were prevented from doing so by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
An interim board chaired by a Deputy Governor of the CBN was subsequently appointed.The interim board then announced a bid process midwived by Barclays Africa.
The Central Bank also promised to carry out a financial check on the winner of the sale while the Nigerian Communications Commission will focus on the buyer’s technical competence and quality service to its subscribers.