By Nse Anthony-Uko
Sundiata Post – Unless ongoing dicussions with Etisalat International scales through , Emirates Telecommunications Group Co (EMTS) Nigeria has till July 21, 2017 to phase out the brand in Nigeria.
The Chief Executive Officer Etisalat International, Hatem Dowidar told Reuters that the group terminated management and technical supports with EMTS Nigeria with effect from June 30, 2017.
However, termination of agreements governing use of Etisalat’s brand was deferred to July 21, 2017 but are currently engaged with EMTS, negotiating new agreement for technical services, strategic procurement support, use of Etisalat brand
According to him, “Agreements are still under discussion between parties” adding that legal process yet to complete in Nigeria on transfer of Emts Holding BV’s shares in EMTS to United Capital Trustees.
Nigerian regulators intervened last week to save Etisalat Nigeria from collapse after talks with its lenders to renegotiate a $1.2 billion loan failed. Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, tried a couple of times to mediate issues between the telecoms company and the banks without results.
All UAE shareholders of Etisalat Nigeria have exited the company and have left the board and management, Hatem Dowidar said in an interview with Reuters.
He said discussions were ongoing with Etisalat Nigeria to provide technical support, adding that it can use the brand for another three-weeks before phasing it out.
The loan facility totalling $1.72 billion (about N541.8 billion) involving a foreign-backed guaranty bond, was for Etisalat to turn around its network and expand its operations in Nigeria. However, the banks claimed that Etisalat had failed to service the debt as agreed since 2016. They subsequently reported Etisalat to the banking sector regulator, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and its communications sector counterpart, the NCC.