Etisalat Nigeria has contested any veracity in news reports credited to some unofficial sources claiming that the on-going discussions with lenders “have become stalled or reached a deadlock.”
In a statement made available to the media, Etisalat Nigeria stated without equivocation that “discussions are not only ongoing with our bankers but good progress has been made so far. We are optimistic that an agreement will be reached shortly and this will be communicated through the appropriate channels of the involved stakeholders.”
The company appealed to the media to await the official communication of the outcome of the ongoing discussions and not lend their credible platforms to speculative and presumptive analysis of the discussions.
“As a business, our immediate focus is to ensure that we not only sustain a positive performance, but that we are in a position to continue to grow the business, deliver excellent customer service and increase value to our stakeholders which includes our bankers.
“We wish to assure our esteemed customers, service providers and other relevant stakeholders that Etisalat Nigeria has and will indeed continue to operate normally whilst these discussions are on-going,” the statement concluded..
Abu Dhabi telecoms group Etisalat operating in Nigeria had recently defaulted on a $1.2 billion loan obtained from 13 local banks to promote expansion in the country.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and telecoms regulator Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had intervened and urged the banks to pursue a default deal rather than a receivership for Etisalat Nigeria so as not to deter investors and to avoid a wider debt crisis.
Vice President, Regulatory Affairs at Etisalat, Mr. Ibrahim Dikko, had told the media that Etisalat defaulted repayment few months ago as a result of devaluation of the naira and scarcity of dollar and assured subscribers that the issue would be resolved.