NCC gives condition for buyers of 9mobile

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Nigeria’s telecom regulator wants to ensure that the telecoms firm 9mobile, born out of the defunct Etisalat Nigeria, is bought by investors with the know-how to run a company in that sector, it said on Friday.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is looking into the financial health of telecoms firms after Etisalat Nigeria defaulted on loan repayments and was only saved from receivership last year when the central bank stepped in.

Etisalat Nigeria had taken out a $1.2 billion syndicated loan from a group of 13 local banks in 2013 but failed to make repayments last year.

Under the stewardship of its lenders, it has changed its board and management, and its name, and is now up for sale.

Barclays Africa has been mandated to look for new investors and is now examining bids from prospective buyers. However, a deal may take a few months as it will involve restructuring 9mobile’s debt.

“The Board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reassured Stakeholders of its commitment to ensure that the nation’s fourth largest Mobile Network Operator, EMTS/9Mobile, is duly taken over by investors with the requisite technical capability and pedigree to manage the organisation,” the board said in a statement. (Reuters)

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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