Today, the Senate passed a Motion on the need for intervention in the recent Etisalat Nigeria $1.2 billion debt crisis.
In 2013, Etisalat Nigeria acquired a syndicated loan from 13 banks as a medium-term, seven-year facility to fund the expansion of the network in Nigeria. Since then, the company has only repaid 42% of its loan.
The Senate observed that although it should not ordinarily be the duty of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to wade into the individual debt crisis of private sector businesses — we are convinced that if this situation is not properly handled, it will have negative implications for the Nigerian Business Environment and on Foreign Investment in Nigeria in general.
Additionally, because 4000 Nigerian jobs are at stake if this situation is not rectified, the Senate has:
Mandated the Committee on Banking, Communications, Capital Market and National Security and Intelligence to investigate the management and utilization of the $1.2billion loan facility obtained from the 13 Nigerian Banks;
Mandated the above Joint Committee to make recommendation on way the Nigerian Financial Governance Structure can be strengthened by legislations to prevent any similar reoccurrences in the future; and
Urged the relevant Financial Intelligence Agencies of the Federal Government to investigate the management of Etisalat Nigeria and hold the defaulting parties accountable for their actions.
Commenting on this issue, the Senate President stated that:
“We must first and foremost, always do all that we can to protect the jobs of our people,” he said, “On the issue of investment planning and corporate governance, we must also look at preventing these kinds of issues. It is my hope that this committee will come up with a framework that will help us address issues like this in the future.”