Etisalat says discussions with banks on $1.2bn loan in progress


Ibrahim Dikko, the Vice President, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, Etisalat Nigeria, says discussions with its banks were in progress toward resolving the $1.2 billion loan issue.

Dikko in a signed statement in Lagos on Thursday said that there was no issue of deadlock on how to resolve the issue.

“The attention of Etisalat Nigeria has been drawn to news reports credited to some unofficial sources claiming that the ongoing discussions with our bankers have become stalled or reached a deadlock.

“Etisalat Nigeria wishes to state 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.

“We appeal to our media partners who have indeed been critical to the success of our business over the years to await the official communication of the outcome of the ongoing discussions,” he said.

According to him, media partners should not lend their credible platforms to speculative and presumptive analysis of the discussions.

Dikko said that as a business, Etisalat’s immediate focus was to ensure that it sustained a positive performance.

He said that the telecommunications company was in a position to continue to grow the business, deliver excellent customer service and increase value to stakeholders, which included the 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 ongoing,” Dikko said.

A consortium of 13 banks, both foreign and Nigerian in March had wanted to take over the operation of Etisalat over a loan facility totalling $1.2 billion obtained in 2015.

The banks said their attempt to recover the loan by all means was fuelled by the pressure from the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), demanding immediate cut down on the rate of their non-performing loans.

However, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervened in the matter to ensure an amicable resolution.


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