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9mobile buyer ‘will have tech capability’, Govt says

9mobile buyer ‘will have tech capability’, Govt says

The Federal Government says it is doing everything to ensure new owners of 9mobile formerly Etisalat Nigeria, will have the technical capability to manage the nation’s fourth biggest mobile phone company.

This is the latest reassurance from the Board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms regulator that alongside its banking counterpart, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) waded in to save 9mobile from takeover by creditor banks over $1.2 billion debts.

The government agency is silent on who takes over 9mobile after Teleology Holding with stake of $500 million emerged as the winner and Smile Communications with $300 million, the preferred bidder, as reported by TheCable.

Meanwhile, Mr Tony Ojobo, Director of Public Affairs at NCC on Friday says in a statement made available to Technology Times that the NCC is working to ensure that the difficulties that resulted in the 9mobile debt crisis do not happen again.

Mr. Waleed al-Muhain, Deputy CEO Mubadala Development Company (MDC), owners of Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services, trading as Etisalat Nigeria; and Prof. Umar Danbatta, EVC/CEO NCC receiving Mr. al-Muhain who led the MDC team on a courtesy visit to NCC.
Flashback: File photo by NCC shows Mr Sunday Dare, NCC’s Executive Commissioner Stakeholder Management (left); Mr Waleed al-Muhain, Deputy CEO of Mubadala Development Company (MDC), then owners of Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services (EMTS) trading as Etisalat Nigeria; Professor Umar Danbatta, EVC/CEO of NCC; Mr. Khaled al-Qubaisi of MDC and Mr Hakeem Belo-Osagie, Chairman Etisalat Nigeria at the time at a visit to the Nigerian Communications Commission in Abuja.

“The Board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reassured Stakeholders of its commitment to ensure that the nation’s fourth largest Mobile Network Operator, EMTS/9Mobile, is duly taken over by investors with the requisite technical capability and pedigree to manage the organisation”, Ojobo says.

The NCC Board, which rose from a meeting held Thursday February 22, this year in Abuja “affirmed its determination to avoid the recurrence of any missteps that may have led to the current situation.”

According to Ojobo, the NCC Board “also made it clear that pursuant to the powers conferred on the Commission by the provisions of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 and other instruments in that regard, the Commission will ensure that all relevant statutory and regulatory processes are duly complied with in the process leading up to the emergence of new owners for the company.”

Ojobo says the “Board therefore assured all Stakeholders that the Commission will apply all necessary diligence to see the ongoing sale process through to its logical conclusion in a manner that protects the overall national interest and the seamless operation of the national telecommunications network.”

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