ICT

Etisalat Claims it Owes Banks $575m, not $1.2bn

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Nigeria’s fourth largest teleco Etisalat has debunked reports that it owes a consortium of Nigerian Banks $1.2 billion, noting rather that its indebtedness to these Banks was $575 million.

Reports that followed the takeover of Etisalat shares by the lenders this week mentioned that it was as a result of the telco’s inability to repay its $1.2 billion loan it took in 2013 to fund infrastructure development and improve its service delivery.

But Etisalat, yesterday, revealed that the figure being circulated to the public was incorrect as it had paid down its debt to the tune of $575 million.

Since 2013 when it took the loan, Etisalat said it had paid back almost $700 million.

The telco, however, struggled to meet repayment deadlines following the devaluation of the naira, tripling the value of its debt in naira terms.

Its parent company, Etisalat UAE, through its holding firm Mubadala opted against further bailouts and exited the Nigerian telecommunication market after transferring its shares in Etisalat Nigeria to a Trustee of the consortium of Banks it owed.

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