As we reported earlier A consortium of three Nigerian banks and their foreign counterparts Wednesday took over Etisalat Nigeria after the telecommunications company failed to pay a loan sum totalling $1.72bn (about N541.8bn) granted to it by the consortium in 2015.
The three Nigerian banks are Guaranty Trust Bank, Access Bank and Zenith Bank.
As reported by the The PUNCH, according to a former executive director at GTB, who was privy to details concerning the loan facility, the action became necessary since the Nigerian Communications Commission could not broker a peaceful resolution between Etisalat and the lending consortium
The Ex-GTB executive said the loan involved a foreign-backed guaranty bond and was given to Etisalat to finance a major network rehabilitation and expansion of its operational base in Nigeria.
He went further to say that after failing to service its debt since 2016, “the banks reported the company to the Central Bank of Nigeria and the NCC.”
According to him Etisalat management was given the option of filing for bankruptcy, but it refused to take that advice. This option, he said, would have required the banks just a management to oversee the telecoms firm’s operations.
He said, “While all these were happening, the management at Guaranty Trust Bank and the other banks concerned had thought that the Nigerian Communications Commission would have used its powers as a regulator to bail the telco out, or advise them accordingly, but it became obvious that the NCC wasn’t so interested. It was merely buying time for Etisalat.”
Meanwhile, workers at Etisalat blamed the inability of the company to fulfil its obligation to the consortium on the current economic recession in Nigeria.
Talking on the condition of anonymity, one of the people said,”while the control persevered responsible the venture at the monetary recession, the banks spoke back that the Asset management agency of Nigeria guidelines stressful instantaneous reduce down on the charge in their non-performing loans give them no other option.”
She added, “We noticed this coming and this is why a lot of our colleagues, within the final six months, started resigning.”
although the NCC is not satisfied with the takeover, a pinnacle source on the regulatory body stated, “The commission became left with out a alternative than to approve the takeover. The NCC on Tuesday, March 7, authorized the takeover with effect from March 8.”
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