The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta has explained in an interview with The Guardian, why Teleology holdings, can’t at the moment take over the ownership of the telecommunication company.
Danbatta said there are pockets of debts on the part of 9Mobile that must be met before the transfer of license, frequency and shares could be made.
The specific debts owed by 9mobile
- The NCC Boss revealed 9Mobile owes AOL about N12 billion
- the NCC boss said the firm owed Numbering Fees of N1 billion and Spectrum Fees of N2.3 billion.
- About 50% of the debt has already being paid by 9mobile.
What we know
- Nairametrics understands that Teleology has already secured the balance $450 million required to acquire 9mobile.
- Teleology already paid $50 million an upfront payment
- They are awaiting regulatory approval to complete the transaction.
Recall that earlier reports suggested that the final transaction for the takeover of 9mobile failed following the inability of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and other stakeholders to reach a meaningful conclusion on the matter.
Last February, Teleology Holdings emerged as the winner of a fiercely contested bidding exercise for 9mobile’s acquisition. The bidding exercise was supervised by Barclays Africa.
But ever since Teleology’s emergence as the winner, drama, and controversies have characterised its 9mobile acquisition bid. These controversies range from opposition posed by other bidders such as runner-up Smile Telecoms Holding Limited, to the alleged refusal of banks to lend Teleology the rest of the capital it needs to finalise the acquisition bid.
Despite these issues, Teleology Holdings was optimistic that the acquisition process would go on until finalised.
The background to the entire story
The problem with Etisalat Nigeria, now 9mobile, started last year 2017, after the telco defaulted on a $1.2 billion loan it obtained from a consortium of 13 Nigerian banks led by GTBank. This caused the parent company (Etisalat of the United Arab Emirates) to pull out and relinquish its 45% stake in the company.
Following this development, the CBN restrained the Nigerian banks from taking over the telco. The CBN instead, constituted an interim board to oversee the operations of the company.
9mobile currently commands an estimated market share of 11.72% in the GSM sector.