The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has assured 21 million Etisalat subscribers that the telco’s N541 billion debt and brewing takeover will not, in any way, affect them negatively.
In a statement signed by Tony Ojobo, NCC director of public affairs, the commission said it attempted to find a resolution to the challenges facing the company, but could not get desired results.
NCC however said it would do all in its regulatory capacity to ensure subscribers enjoy the best of service.
“The attention of the Commission has been drawn to a planned takeover of Etisalat by a consortium of banks,” NCC said via a statement.
“As a result of this planned action the Commission wishes to state as follows:
- The Commission is aware of the indebtedness of Etisalat to the consortium of banks;
- In conjunction with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), it mediated by holding several meetings with the banks, Etisalat and other stakeholders with a view to finding a resolution;
- Regrettably these meetings did not yield the desired results.
- The NCC wishes to reassure the over 21 million Etisalat subscribers that it will do all within its regulatory power to ensure that Etisalat subscribers continue to enjoy the services provided by the operator.
“The Commission has taken proactive steps to cushion the impact of the takeover, this is without prejudice to the ongoing effort between Etisalat and the banks toward negotiated settlement.
“In view of the recent development, NCC wishes to reassure all stakeholders in the telecommunications sector in particular the subscribers on the Etisalat Network that the Commission will ensure that the integrity of Etisalat Network is not compromised.”
Accordingly, the commission says it had drawn the attention of the banks to provisions of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003 Section 38:
“Sub section 1 – The grant of a license shall be personal to the licensee and the license shall not be operated by, assigned, sub licensed or transferred to another party unless the prior written approval of the commission has been granted;
“Sub section 2 – A licensee shall at all times comply by the terms and condition of the license and the provision of this act and its subsidiary legislation.
“Whilst the banks and Etisalat are working at resolving the issues, the Commission wishes to assure subscribers that they will continue to enjoy the services provided by Etisalat.”