The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr Godwin Emefiele, says that 9mobile, formerly Etisalat Nigeria and one of the four biggest telecommunication companies in Nigeria remains strong with a solid revenue base.
Emefiele said this while fielding questions from newsmen at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the CBN on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to him, the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), supported by the CBN intervened in the company because of its huge contribution to the nation’s economy.
“Etisalat employs more than 4,000 workers, with about 20 million subscribers nationwide,” Emefiele said.
The CBN governor noted that the apex bank and NCC could not allow the company to go down as it would have a negative impact on jobs, which would reflect poorly on the economy.
While expressing delight in the indication of interests by some potential investors in the rescue of the communications company, Emefiele said that the interventions were temporal.
“The intervention is temporal, it should not last more than 90 to180 days… I am gratified that potential investors are taking part,” Emefiele said.
Under the management of Etisalat, the telco had been struggling to meet its contractual agreement with its creditors before the intervention of the NCC with the support of the CBN.
A recent newspaper report in Nigeria suggests Virgin Mobile, BUA Group and Vodacom are lining up bids to buy Nigeria’s 9mobile (formerly known as Etisalat Nigeria). The report claims the three companies are putting finishing touches to their bids in respect of acquiring the 45% stake hitherto held by Etisalat of the UAE.