Category Archives: Telecommunications Industry

Vodacom seeks digitilisation for growth

 

Going full scale digital is a sustainable way of ensuring economic growth and matching population growth with infrastructural development, Vodacom Business, said yesterday in Lagos.

Its Executive Head of Operations (Ag), Olumide Idowu, who spoke at the Information Communications Technology Telecoms (ICTEL) Expo, 2018 organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) at Eko Hotel, said Nigeria is one of the fastest developing countries in the world and the most populous nation in sub-Sahara Africa. With an estimated 198 million, he said  existing infrastructure is overstressed.

He said: “Leaders around the world are committed to smart city building as they attempt to chart the course towards the development of their cities in order to meet social, economic, and environmental challenges.”

Idowu said the country is at a pivotal moment in its technological revolution and the current lack of infrastructure provides a ready springboard to embrace Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to create a smarter and a more efficient nation. By using IoT technology, which is now commercially available, a host of intelligently connected services such as efficient healthcare in rural communities become possible a reality.

 

The Auditor General for the Federation, Mr. Anthony Ayine, in his Annual Audit Report for 2016 has said that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation ( NNPC ) and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) have cases to answer concerning the non-remittance of revenues for some months into the Federation Account.

According to the report, “It was observed from the CBN Components Statements that no collections were reported into the Federation Revenue Account by some revenue collecting Agencies for certain months of the year. It was not clear from available records why these months recorded no revenue collections and no explanation was provided for this.

“The Accountant-General has been requested to: Obtain an explanation from the Group Managing Director of NNPC and Director DPR for the non-collection of revenue during these relevant months. Ensure that any revenue found due for these months is remitted to the Federation Account, and evidence forwarded for audit verification.”

Ayine added that another abuse of financial regulation of the 2016 budget was found in the illegal movement of monies from two dedicated funds to purposes other than for the mandates of the funds.

He pointed out that monies were moved from the Stabilization Account for States and the Federal Government by the Presidency for the establishment of an Army Barracks and another sum as investment in the Sovereign Wealth Fund.

The two acts, according to him, apart from not being tidy on framework of recovery, are illegal. Just as another case of lending out the Ecological Funds meant to strictly check ecological challenges without records to track recovery.

“From available records, a total of N17,108,583,681.78 accrued from the Federation Account into 0.5% Stabilization Fund from January – December 2016.

“During the examination of Central Bank, Bank Statements for the year, we observed that the sum of N2,812,694,928.36 was funds released to the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), and N14,374,728,817.20 to the Federal Ministry of Defense from the Stabilization Fund.

“The Accountant-General has been requested to: Provide the authority for the Funds Invested, tenor of the investment, rate of interest payable, certificate for the funds invested and forward same for audit verification; Explain the utilization of N14,374,728,817.20 for the purpose of funding a new division contrary to the purpose for which the Fund was created; Provide evidence of refund of this sum of N17,187,423,745.56 back to the Stabilization Fund,” the report said.

Airtel offers 100% bonus on data in new SmartConnect package

 

 

 

Airtel Nigeria has announced the offer of 100% bonus on any data bundle purchased as well as eight times the value of any recharge to new customers on its network.
Under the new offer, new customers get 100% bonus on every data bundle of N100 and above, and also get eight times bonus on any recharge, which will be split along the following: Main account, 100%; Voice, 250%; data, 250%; social, 100% and Family & Friends, 100%.
For example, if a new customer buys 3GB data bundle, he/she automatically gets 6GB with a validity period of one month. And when a customer refills with N100 worth of airtime, he/she gets credited with N100 in main account; N250 bonus for voice; N250 bonus worth of data; N10o for Social and N100 for Family & Friends, totaling N800.
The telco says the new offer will empower more Nigerians, improve productivity and help more telecoms consumers stay connected with their friends, loved ones and business associates.
Commenting on the newly revamped SmartConnect package, Ag. Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Dinesh Balsingh, said the company is committed to sustaining the SmartConnect’s history of creating value and offering mouth-watering opportunities for telecoms consumers.
“The SmartConnect package has a rich and interesting history of placing absolute power in the hands of telecoms consumers. With the package, we are offering choice and freedom to customers – the power to do whatever they want to do at a very affordable rate and on a reliable and robust 4G Network.
“At Airtel, we are totally committed to creating innovative products and services that will enrich the lives of our customers as well as enable them to succeed in their professional and personal endeavours,” he said.
The 100% data bonus Offer is available to new customers and valid for 90 days, beginning from the day a customer joins the Airtel Network.

Pervasive Broadband Access Will Boost GDP, Says NCC

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said the growth in the telecommunications in can be sustained through the provision of pervasive broadband access that will further boost the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Currently there are about 162 million active mobile connections and over 100 million internet users, with teledensity standing at over 116 per cent, as at May this year, a development that NCC has described as impressive.
Speaking at the 2018 ICTEL Expo organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in Lagos recently, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said the next frontier to deepen digitisation globally is through the development of broadband, otherwise known as high-speed internet access.
According to him, the NCC will continue to promote the development of broadband in Nigeria in order to sustain the growth and gains of telecommunications in today’s digital era.
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Danbatta, who was represented by the Director, Consumer Affairs at NCC, Mrs. Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, said: “Nigeria has an auspicious target to achieve 30 per cent broadband penetration by the end of the year in line with the National Broadband Plan (2013-2018), and I am happy to inform the public that despite teething challenges, we have so far hit 22 per cent threshold of the 30 per cent broadband target.”
“With telecoms’ contribution to Nigeria’s GDP currently standing at over nine per cent, it is expected that ubiquitous broadband access will further deepen the contribution to GDP. More access to telecoms/broadband access means more contribution to GDP, but less access means lower contribution to GDP. With better and wider access coverage, the contributions of telecoms to GDP will move from 9 per cent to a little over 10 per cent,” Danbatta said.
He explained that the realisation on the centrality of broadband to enhancing digital life, which comes with a lot of benefits for individuals and corporate organisations, has informed the decision by the current leadership of the NCC to put broadband penetration topmost on the ladder of its 8-Point agenda.
Danbatta said the ongoing licencing of wholesale Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) in geopolitical zones to complement existing infrastructure on an Open Access Model (OAM) basis, the development of framework on spectrum trading, formulation of policy on national roaming and active engagement of stakeholders and state governments to remove impediments to telecoms infrastructure deployment by operating companies in their states, are among regulatory interventions, aimed at accelerating the digital ecosystem.

NCC finalises 9mobile takeover

Indications have emerged that the Nigerian Communications Commission is in the final stages of reviewing the deal that will see investment firm , Teleology Holdings , take over 9 mobile .
Teleology was picked as the preferred bidder for 9 mobile in February , following a bid process arranged by Barclays Africa after a debt default forced the telecom firm ’ s lenders to step in .
According to Reuters , the deal is expected to close in about a week , as revealed by two sources with knowledge of the transaction , which has taken longer than initially expected.
One of the sources said the NCC was in the final stages of reviewing the deal before signing off Teleology ’ s takeover , adding that $ 301m in financing for the deal was in escrow with Afrexim bank .
“ The NCC is doing its own regulatory due diligence before making a formal announcement on the transfer of licence , ” one of the sources involved in the deal stated.
The source said the documentation with the NCC was not complete and the banks were preparing the final papers , which should close in another week .
The NCC has to approve a transfer of 9 mobile ’ s telecoms licence to Teleology .
Earlier, 9 mobile , formerly called Etisalat Nigeria, said its board expected the takeover to be completed “ as soon as possible ” but that more time was needed to ensure a smooth transition , without giving further details .
The telecoms firm had been in meetings with its lenders , regulators and the new investor for the last few days .
The prospective buyer was given 90 days to pay the balance of $ 450m to complete the acquisition after paying a non -refundable deposit of $ 50 m in March .
Another source said Teleology , which was set up by 12 telecoms industry veterans led by ex – MTN Nigeria executive , Adrian Wood , was waiting for 9 mobile ’ s lenders to obtain clearance from the NCC and the Securities and Exchange Commission .
“ The board of 9 mobile is pleased with the progress made thus far , ” its Chief Executive Officer, Boye Olusanya was quoted to have said .
Teleology has partnered East Africa ’ s largest telecoms operator , Safaricom , to transform 9 mobile . However , the takeover comes at a time of increased competition as Nigeria ’ s biggest operator , MTN , expands its service through partnerships with banks .

NCC wants new investments in digital technology, puts teledensity at 116%

Fresh investments in digital technologies would enable Nigeria to actively play in the fourth industrial revolution .
The Nigerian Communications Commission ( NCC) , which raised this view yesterday in Lagos at the 2018 Information Communications Technology and Telecommunication ( ICTEL ) Expo , organized by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( LCCI) , informed that thus far , about $ 70 billion has been invested in the telecoms sector by both local and foreign operators.
The Executive Vice Chairman , NCC , Prof . Umar Danbatta , while given his goodwill message , said despite the level of investments , the sector needed fresh investments to sustain growth and harness the various opportunities embedded in the fourth industrial revolution .
While calling on LCCI and others in the private sector to join hands with the commission to drive digital inclusion, Danbatta puts the country’ s teledensity at 116 per cent , saying there are now over 162 million active mobile connections and over 100 million Internet users in the country.
Telephone density or teledensity is the number of telephone connections for every hundred individuals living within an area .
It varies widely across the nations and also between urban and rural areas within a country.
Danbatta , who was represented by the Director, Consumer Affairs , NCC , Mrs . Felicia Onwuegbuchilam , at the forum , which had its theme as: ‘ Developing Efficiency and Competitiveness in the Digital Age ’ , noted that in the 21 st Century economies , digitisation is throwing up dynamics that are re- writing the rules of competition and efficiency with incumbent companies most at risk of being left behind .
According to him , trends such as automation of processes by public and private organizations , Big Data , Artificial Intelligence , Internet of Things , eCommerce and block chain technology , Cloud Computing among others now characterize the current digital age , “ the utmost aim of these digital tools is to redefine how services are delivered to the consumer . ”
To fast – track these developments , the NCC boss said broadband penetration or fast Internet connection was critical , adding : “ the country has an auspicious target to achieve 30 per cent broadband penetration by year end , which is in line with the National Broadband Plan 2013 – 2018 .
In this regards , I am happy to inform you that , so far , and despite teething challenges , we have hit 22 per cent threshold of the target . ”
He stressed that broadband access would help to accelerate economic development and boost a country’ s Gross Domestic Product ( GDP ) , with telecom’ s contribution to Nigeria ’ s GDP currently standing at over nine per cent .

MTN plans to raise US$1.1bn in debt in Nigeria this year

MTN plans to raise US$1.1bn in debt in Nigeria this year: MTN Group Ltd. plans to borrow as much as N400bn (US$1.1bn) in Nigeria this year as Africa’s largest wireless carrier by sales seeks to fund local investment and replace existing debt in the continent’s most populous country. The carrier expects to list its Nigerian unit on the Lagos stock exchange by the end of 2018. (Source: Bloomberg)

Unilever shareholders approve sale of spreads unit, N2.87bn dividends: Shareholders of Unilever Nigeria Plc have approved the plan by the company to sell its spread business to Sigma Bidco as proposed by the Board of Directors. The shareholders also ratified the payment of N2.87bn (US$8.0m) in dividends, translating to 50 kobo per share for the year ended December 31, 2017. (Source: Vanguard)

BREAKING : TELEOLOGY OFFICIALLY ACQUIRES 9MOBILE AT $50m NON-REFUNDABLE CASH DEPOSIT.

Teleology Holdings, the long-preferred bidder for the acquisition of 9mobile, has finally fulfilled the $50m non-refundable cash deposit requirement, essentially edging out fierce rival, Smile Communications.

According to an official statement Techpoint received, key executives of the organisation have been deep in meetings with the Nigerian bank syndicate (that took over 9mobile), the regulatory authorities and advisors. These meetings have culminated in the signing of the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) and other contractual documents pertaining to the acquisition.

With the acquisition all but finalised, Teleology has wasted no time in revealing its plans to overhaul the struggling telco.

According to Adrian Wood, Teleology’s Director and pioneer Managing Director of MTN Nigeria, the plan is to build a new company that is “engineering led and rand driven”.

“9mobile is transiting into a new phase that will be defined by optimal value delivery:  value to our employees, value to our customers, value to local communities and indeed to all stakeholders.”

Major plans to actualise these include doubling the 9mobile network with new 3G/4G specific cell sites as well as a several thousands kilometres of fibre optic cables across the country. There are also plans to drive a special programme of rural internet coverage, focusing on 4G with broadband access planned for all of Nigeria’s 774 Local Government Areas.

Finally, Teleology has already entered into an alliance with Safaricom, the largest network operator in East Africa. It will be interesting to see how such a partnership pans out.

9mobile (formerly Etisalat) suffered subscription losses for the seventh successive month.

Visible increase in internet subscriptions

                                                                                          

The latest data released by the NCC, the industry regulator, show that internet subscriptions stood at 98.4 million in December, representing y/y growth of 7.1%. The figure implies density of 53% in a population estimated at 185 million, placing Nigeria well above the African average of around 16% as indicated by McKinsey. In December there were 3.6 million new internet subscriptions recorded, compared with 931,000 the previous month.

                                                                                                                  

  • The m/m increase recorded in total internet subscriptions could be loosely linked to increased patronage of dual-SIM mobile phones; sometimes both SIMs are connected to separate data packages.

  • MTN accounted for the largest share (37%) of total subscriptions. Meanwhile, Globacom and Airtel accounted for 27% and 24% respectively. The latter recorded a m/m increase of 3.9%.

  • 9mobile (formerly Etisalat) suffered subscription losses for the seventh successive month. The operator recorded 68,000 subscription losses in December, compared with 180,000 in November. The reduced slippage may be due to the introduction of a new data package (“more blaze”), which was created to deliver a faster and more reliable internet usage experience for customers within its network.

·         To deepen broadband penetration and by extension boost internet subscriptions, the NCC plans to facilitate the re-farming of existing spectrums held by operators (without impacting their quality of service delivery). Additionally, the commission will auction the 2.5/2.6 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum for fourth generation (4G) long term evolution (LTE) capacity requirements later this year.

Sources: Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); FBNQuest Capital Research

 

·         Broadband penetration is currently 21%; the FGN targets a penetration of 30% by end-2018.

Masiyiwa Strive’s net worth today stands at $1.7 billion, Zimbabwe’s first billionaire.

Key Speakers At The 2016 Milken Conference
Strive Masiyiwa, founder and chairman of Econet Wireless Global Ltd., speaks during the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills , California, U.S., on Monday, May 2, 2016. The conference gathers attendees to explore solutions to today’s most pressing challenges in financial markets, industry sectors, health, government and education. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Having an excellent foresight on the future of telecommunications with the emergence of mobile cellular telephony, the the 56-year old engineer expanded his business reach by diversifying into telecommunication.

Winning numerous accolades has gained the 2003 and 2014 (CNN’s Time magazine most and fortune magazine respectively) most influential business leader in the world, international recognition for his business expertise.

His passion to make a difference dates back to his youth days at 37 years of age, when the billionaire was listed by World Junior Chamber of Commerce as one of the 10 most outstanding young leaders of the world.

Considered an audacity for hope, Masiyiwa takes a keen interest in blogging as he uses it as a platform to motivate and mentor youths interested in entrepreneurship. In one of his motivational sessions he noted “A seed in the ground will break a concrete road, if it gets a bit of moisture” as he likened the encounter to a contact faith has with dream.

With zeal and open-mindedness Econet was birthed, as Strive sought partners who would augment his telecommunications dream financially in Botswana. With eyes on his goal, he successfully convinced his friend to put on hold his banking dreams to set up the financing structure in his business.

Against all odds Masiyiwa fought to see his dream become a reality in Zimbabwe, as the legal battle to licence the telecommunications company dragged on for 5 years. Through the rocky road, the Econet crooner travelled, as the journey to the stock market listing took 12 years.

Breaking the norm and defying the odds, Masiyiwa overcame his equity financing challenges through Initial Public offering, leaving him with only 40% beneficial interest. Although he currently owns half of his company, his victory helped spur the development of private telecoms across the continent.

Performance they say is measured in numbers and through resilience Masiyiwa has managed to set up Econet wireless, which in turn has branches such as solar energy, e-commerce, education, renewable energy, hospitality, video on demand and generates a revenue worth over $ 3billion.

Strive’s net worth today stands at $1.7 billion and he has just become Zimbabwe’s first billionaire.

MTN will announce that it has returned to profit today, Thursday, 3 August, for the first six months of the year ending June 2017, according to a statement filed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

MTN will announce that it has returned to profit today, Thursday, 3 August, for the first six months of the year ending June 2017, according to a statement filed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

“MTN expects to report interim 2017 basic headline earnings per share of between 210 cents and 230 cents and basic earnings per share of between 280 cents and 300 cents. This compares with a headline loss per share of 271 cents and attributable loss per share of 301 cents reported in the prior comparable period,” the company said in a statement filed with the JSE on 27 July.

However, analysts have cautioned that the return to profit of MTN masks the reality that many of the players in the Nigerian telecom sector are struggling to survive.

The Nigerian telecommunications industry, which had grown rapidly and attracted billions of dollars of investments into the economy after oil and gas, is currently facing hard times, as operators struggle for survival.

Culprits for the stunning turnaround in fortune of the once high flying sector, include major market dominance in terms of subscriber base by one player, infrastructure ownership and revenue sharing, and a drastic reduction of average revenue per user (ARPU), Financial Quest findings reveal.

While voice revenues have been declining for some years in the sector, the problem today is that data services which were expected to take up the slack, are being found to cannibalise voice and give little or no room for telco’s to make money.

“For emerging markets like Nigeria, you find that a bunch of users who would typically call, or go to a call centre to call friends, can sit at home or wherever, chatting away for a whole month with so many friends for as low as 100 megabites a month, with the advent of applications like WhatsApp,” one telecoms industry insider told Financial Quest, on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

“That is why the NCC is trying to help push up data prices, else more telco’s will pack up.”

Until June 2016, the telecoms sector was growing rapidly and comprised 9.8 percent of Nigeria’s GDP, but this growth has now stalled, with the sector at a strategic crossroads.

Sources in the telecoms industry say that there is definitely no room for new entrants in this market and that there might be a need for existing players to be consolidated for the sake of survival and healthy completion.

In Nigeria’s telecommunications market, the ARPU generally has been on the decline. Reports show that in January and July 2016, ARPU fell by 21.7 and 15.7 percent respectively, for the same periods in 2015.

In response to economic realities and subscriber expenditure, informed sources say, telecoms subscribers are generally spending much less in 2017.

Unfortunately, operating capital required to support the huge user base has not declined in proportion. In fact, capital expenditure has somewhat risen, as a result of the same economic realities.

As such, there is an ongoing battle for survival of operators in the industry.

“The same asset that once generated a dual income stream, now majorly services only one. Most telco’s except the dominant player, are reporting operating profits but losses at the bottom line,” another inside source tells Financial Quest.

Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat, now 9mobile, have found it very difficult to catch up with MTN, which is the largest operator by subscriber numbers, and also has a larger percentage of the market revenue share.

Statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) shows that MTN has 37.22 percent of the telecoms market share, with just over 53 million subscribers, followed by Globacom, 26.22 percent market share with about 37.4 million subscribers. Airtel comes next with 34.1 million subscribers, taking 23.92 percent of the market and then 9mobile with just over 18 million subscribers; down from it’s over 21million subscribers in 2016, due to shakeups from bank loan debts.

“The market competition is clearly dominated by MTN, which although has lost a few million subscribers in the last year or two, as a result of a huge regulatory fine, has the capacity to cope with economic challenges because of its infrastructural advantage, that is the ownership of both the 2.6GHz spectrum frequency and the 700MHz spectrum.
“It also has a laid underwater cable system which is the MTN West Africa Cable System (WACS). This clearly gives advantage of much wider coverage, advanced data capacity at a reduced cost,” Olusola Teniola, President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, told Financial Quest.

Both large and small mobile network operators are currently working to try and mitigate the current challenges related to squeezed margins, and in other cases generating losses, and lack of direct access to foreign currencies, with the smaller firms struggling the most to compete. Although analysts say that reduced competition will be a lose-lose situation for all operators, and the public as a whole, experts suggest that for there to be healthy competition in the market, smaller operators may have to be consolidated.

Industry watchers say N-tel, a new entrant into the telecoms market has had a tough time since it started operating about a year ago, and is not likely to break-even in the market anytime soon, especially with news yesterday that Kamar Abass, its current Managing Director, has resigned.

“With the situation of things, there is definitely no room for new entrants in the market, as even the existing ones are fighting not to die.

Boye Olusanya, CEO, 9mobile recently revealed in his first meeting with the media that the company is open to investors.

Without investors, 9mobile may not survive in Nigeria’s telecoms market and may have to merge with any other existing operator to remain competitive in this tightening industry.

Airtel Unveils Home Broadband Service to Deepen Internet Connectivity

Airtel Unveils Home Broadband Service to Deepen Internet Connectivity

Leading telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria, has unveiled its Home Broadband Service in line with its commitment to deepen Internet connectivity as well as empower telecoms consumers to share data with a number of people without worrying about cost and other limitations.

The new Airtel Home Broadband delivers superfast broadband service via data terminals such as dongle, MiFi and routers as it comes in various packages and affordable price range to suit the lifestyles of different customer segments.

Customers can get unlimited data on packages such as Unlimited 10, Unlimited 15 and Unlimited 20, which are offered at N10,000, N15,000 and N20,000 respectively and valid for 30 days.

To subscribe to the service on smartphones, customers are advised to dial *462*10# for unlimited 10, *462*15# for unlimited 15 and *462*20# for unlimited 20.

Customers who wish to use the service for home broadband and on data terminals are required to get the MIFI / Router / Dongle at the nearest Airtel showroom or a designated Airtel agent.

Upon activating any of the unlimited plans, customers enjoy superfast data experience until a threshold is reached. After this, the data speed is throttled to a lower speed in line with the Fair Usage Policy. According to this policy, the threshold for Unlimited 10 is 40GB; unlimited 15 come with 65GB while unlimited 20 is 100GB, after which the speed comes to 256kpbs. However, customers can continue to enjoy unlimited browsing until plan expires.

Commenting on the new value offering, Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Ahmad Mohkles, said Airtel is changing the paradigm, breaking new frontiers and inspiring new behaviour as far as data sharing as well as delivering ubiquitous data experience is concerned.

“Airtel is committed to pioneering innovation, superior data experience and affordability. Our new Unlimited is truly unlimited as we have stretched the thresholds to deliver up to 100GB to telecoms consumers so that they can empower more people within their circle of influence.

“With this new offering, we have initiated and inspired a paradigm shift that will promote community, deepen friendship bond and eventually lead to a more productive and prosperous society. We are proud of our new unlimited data package and the positive change it will create in the Home Broadband segment,” he said.

To get the MIFI / Router / Dongle, customers can visit the nearest Airtel showroom or a designated Airtel agent. To renew data plans, customers can simply log into www.onetouch.ng and purchase the unlimited plan of their choice. Customers can also subscribe for or renew their unlimited plan via USSD code *462*10# for unlimited 10, *462*15# for unlimited 15 and *462*20# for unlimited 2o.

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Etisalat Nigeria has announced the appointment of a new board of directors following the resignation of the company’s key personnel over the $1.2 billion debt owed to Nigerian banks.

Etisalat Nigeria has announced the appointment of a new board of directors following the resignation of the company’s key personnel over the $1.2 billion debt owed to Nigerian banks.

The appointments came after the Central Bank of Nigeria and Nigerian Communications Commission announced last week that they will intervene in the ongoing loan dispute between Etisalat Nigeria and a consortium of Nigerian banks.

The telecoms company said Boye Olusanya, a former Deputy CEO of Celtel Nigeria (now Airtel Nigeria), will take over as Managing Director/CEO, while Joseph Nnanna, the Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability at the CBN, will become Chairman of the Board of Directors. Funke Ighodaro, a former Chief Financial Officer of Tiger Brands, will serve as Etisalat Nigeria’s new Chief Financial Officer

The new board will replace the previous one led by Hakeem Bello Osagie, who has since resigned as part of an agreement reached with the regulators. On Monday, Matthew Willsher also stepped down as CEO along with Olawole Obasunloye, the Chief Financial Officer.

Etisalat Nigeria has been enmeshed in a crisis since the company defaulted on a $1.2 billion loan obtained from Nigerian banks to rehabilitate and expand its network.

Last month Etisalat Group announced that Nigerian banks had instructed the Abu Dhabi-based telecoms company to hand over its 45 percent stake in Etisalat Nigeria after debt restructuring talks.

Following the share transfer request, Etisalat Group said it will pull out of Nigeria given that its operations in the country accounted for about 3.5 percent of the group’s total revenue. The group subsequently withdraw all its directors from Etisalat Nigeria. Mubadala, which owns 40 percent of Etisalat Nigeria, also pulled out of the country and withdrew its directors.

The Nigerian Banks involved in the loan deal include: Zenith Bank, GT Bank, First Bank, UBA, Fidelity Bank, Access Bank, Ecobank, FCMB, Stanbic IBTC Bank, and Union Bank.

Emirates Telecommunications Group has terminated its existing management and technical support-related agreements with Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services Limited (EMTS)

Etisalat Group cancels management contract with Nigerian unit

Emirates Telecommunications Group has terminated its existing management and technical support-related agreements with Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services Limited (EMTS) – the holding company of Etisalat Nigeria – with effect from June 30, 2017, according to a statement released on Monday.

The Abu Dhabi-based company said the termination of the agreements governing the use of the Etisalat brand has, however, been deferred to July 21, 2017.

Etisalat Group said it is currently negotiating with EMTS to secure new agreements for technical services, strategic procurement support, and the use of the Etisalat brand, including its trademark.

“It is for this reason that Etisalat Group has deferred the termination of the existing trademark agreement at this time, thus allowing the parties an opportunity to enter into a new interim trademark agreement without adversely impacting the company’s ability to operate in the normal course,” the company said.

The announcement comes after the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Communications Commission intervened last week in the ongoing dispute between Etisalat Nigeria and a consortium of Nigerian banks over a $1.2 billion loan.

The regulators engineered the appointment of a new board and management for the Nigerian telecoms operator after reaching an agreement with the banks.

The banks involved in the loan deal include: Zenith Bank, GT Bank, First Bank, UBA, Fidelity Bank, Access Bank, Ecobank, FCMB, Stanbic IBTC Bank, and Union Bank.

With regards to the transfer of its 45 percent stake in EMTS as demanded by banks, Etisalat Group said United Capital Trustees Limited, the security trustee, has yet to complete the legal process in Nigeria.

Hatem Dowidar, Etisalat Group CEO, told Reuters on Monday that the company have pulled out of Nigeria as all UAE shareholders – including Mubadala, which owns 40 percent of EMTS – have exited Etisalat Nigeria and pulled out of its board and management.

Etisalat Nigeria is expected to raise fresh capital and work towards returning to profit after regulators rescued the telecoms firm from collapse, Boye Olusanya, the company’s new CEO, told Reuters on Tuesday.

Etisalat Nigeria is expected to raise fresh capital and work towards returning to profit after regulators rescued the telecoms firm from collapse, Boye Olusanya, the company’s new CEO, told Reuters on Tuesday.

“Our mandate is to make sure the business runs as profitably as it can,” Olusanya said. “What is most important now is to … ensure that the business runs and meets its obligations.”

On Monday, Etisalat Group terminated its management and technical contracts with Etisalat Nigeria after the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Communications Commission intervened last week in a dispute between Etisalat Nigeria and a consortium of Nigerian banks over a $1.2 billion loan.

The regulators had engineered the appointment of a new board and management for the Nigerian telecoms operator after reaching an agreement with the banks.

The banks involved in the loan deal include: Zenith Bank, GT Bank, First Bank, UBA, Fidelity Bank, Access Bank, Ecobank, FCMB, Stanbic IBTC Bank, and Union Bank.

“Once we’ve gotten ourselves to where certain decisions are made and the structure and form of the business is formed then maybe we would look at a capital raising structure that would be suitable for the nature of how the business will be run,” Olusanya said. “Obviously if it’s possible to do it tomorrow we will do it, because that enhances the ability of this business to roll-out quickly, to get more subscribers, which is what everybody wants.”

Etisalat Group has given its erstwhile Nigerian unit three weeks to reach a new technical services agreement, covering the use of the Etisalat brand, after all UAE shareholders – including Mubadala – pulled out of the Nigerian telecoms firm and left its board and management.

Hatem Dowidar, Etisalat Group CEO, told Reuters that the new agreement is short-term, as the Abu Dhabi-based company intends to phase out its brand from Nigeria in the near future.

“We’re still in negotiations with Etisalat over the use of the brand name,” Olusanya said, adding that he has plans to rename the company if talks collapse.