Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has intervened in the current crisis at 9mobile barely days after bid winner, Teleology Holdings Limited pulled out of the telecoms company over disagreement on execution of management services contract.
Though, Teleology Limited Holdings and Teleology Nigeria’s dispute is yet to reach NCC for mediation, the executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta stated the move is in accordance to the commission’s regulatory mandate to avert destabilisation of the telecoms industry.
Teleology Holdings Limited had blamed its local joint venture, Teleology Nigeria for its withdrawal, citing the former’s refusal to execute a management services contract which Teleology Holdings Limited claims bind operations in Nigeria.
Why NCC intervened
The timely intervention by NCC was to assure 9mobile’ investors and subscribers and also to allay fears of distabilisation in the telecoms industry in Nigeria. This they also said it to prevent disruption of services.
9mobile’s ownership tussle background
9Mobile (formerly known as Etisalat Nigeria) defaulted on a $1.2 billion loan it had obtained from a consortium of banks led by GTBank. The default led to its parent company, Etisalat of the UAE pulling out and the banks threatening to take over the firm.
They were, however, prevented from doing so by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). An interim board was subsequently appointed, and Barclays Africa midwifed a bidding process. Some parties to the process had alleged there were irregularities, a fact that was stoutly denied.
Teleology emerged the preferred bidder and took over the firm in November, 2018.
Teleology Holdings Limited is a private equity firm that deals with asset management in the financial sector. The company was founded by former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MTN Nigeria, Adrian Wood, some Nigerian investors, and foreign stakeholders in collaboration with Ericsson.