" ITREALMS: You can’t take over Etisalat - NCC

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

You can’t take over Etisalat - NCC

The apex telecommunications regulator in the country, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has warned the consortium of banks led by Access Bank plc, saying they cannot take over Etisalat through the back door, reports ITRealms.

The Commission through its Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo, told ITRealms that the despite the indebtedness of Etisalat to the consortium of banks, insisting that such takeover negates the provisions of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003 Section 38.

This, he said, showed that granting of a license is personal to the licensee and not transferable.

According to Ojobo, NCA 2003 Section 38, Sub section 1 states inter-alia that “The grant of a license shall be personal to the licensee and the license shall not be operated by, assigned, sub licensed or transferred to another party unless the prior written approval of the commission has been granted.”

Buttressing this, NCC noted that Sub section 2 stated “A licensee shall at all times comply by the terms and condition of the license and the provision of this act and its subsidiary legislation.”

NCC condemned the planned takeover of Etisalat Nigeria by a consortium of banks, saying the Commission was aware of the indebtedness and had made efforts to resolve the aligning issues along the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with a view to finding a resolution.
Unfortunately, the spokesman said, these meetings could not yield the desired results.

“The NCC wishes to reassure the over 21 million Etisalat subscribers that it will do all within its regulatory power to ensure that Etisalat subscribers continue to enjoy the services provided by the operator,” he said.

The Commission, Ojobo maintained, has taken proactive steps to cushion the impact of the takeover, this is without prejudice to the ongoing effort between Etisalat and the banks toward negotiated settlement.

“In view of the recent development, NCC wishes to reassure all stakeholders in the telecommunications sector in particular the subscribers on the Etisalat Network that the Commission will ensure that the integrity of Etisalat Network is not compromised,” NCC assured, stressing that subscribers would continue to enjoy the services provided by Etisalat.

ITRealms recalls that the bank consortium comprised Access Bank plc, Zenith Bank, GTBank, First Bank, UBA, Fidelity Bank, Ecobank, FCMB, Stanbic IBTC Bank and Union Bank.

Nonye Dom/GEE
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