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9Mobile: NCC Okays Teleology Bid, Gives it 90 Days to Pay $450m

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(L-r) Prof Umar Garba Danbatta,Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission and Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria during the signing of Memorandum of Understanding on Financial Inclusion in the country in Abuja

Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that Teleology Holdings Limited is on course to take over 9mobile Nigeria provided the company is able to pay $450 million within the next 90 days.

 

NCC’s statement may have put paid to speculation that a highly placed official is against Teleology taking over 9mobile.

 

The commission also for the first time publicly confirmed the $50m deposit made by Teleology Holdings Limited.

Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC, disclosed this in chat with journalists after the NCC management paid a courtesy visit to the Central Bank of Nigeria in Abuja.

 

Prof Danbatta, said Teleology would get 9mobile when it paid the balance of $450m before the expiration of 90 days deadline.

 

“Well, the information I have for you is that the preferred bidder has emerged and it has been told to pay, starting with a deposit of  $50 million which the preferred bidder has paid, we have information to this effect.

 

“What remains is for the preferred bidder to pay the balance of $450 million in the next 90 days, or less than 90 days anyway. And upon payment of that amount, 9mobile would be transferred to the preferred bidder, which is Teleology Holdings Limited.

 

“In the event Teleology fails to pay after the expiration of the deadline of 90 days then the reserved bidder will be considered and the reserved bidder is Smile. That is the position at the moment, ’’ he said.

 

There were reports last week that a board member of NCC was allegedly working very hard to shift the goalposts and force the sale of 9mobile to Smile Telecoms Holdings.

Adrain Wood, Teleology

The reports claimed that the board member had written a letter to the CBN listing new criteria of “technical expertise” and “at least three years operational history” as new conditions for buying 9mobile.

 

His letter, the reports claimed, was designed to favour Smile, the reserved bidder in the sale process.

 

9mobile, formerly Etisalat, almost shut down last year when it failed to pay back a loan taken from a consortium of banks a few years ago.

 

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CTO Appoints Gisa Fuatai Purcell as Director of ICT Development

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Gisa Fuatai Purcell, a national of Samoa has been appointed as Director of ICT Development Department of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO). The Director of ICT Development, who reports to the Secretary-General is responsible for overall strategic direction of the operational divisions of Capacity Development, Events and Technical Support and Consultancy.

 

“I am delighted to announce the appointment of Ms Purcell. In addition to her impressive personal qualities, Gisa brings to the job a wealth of relevant experience in the ICT development sector spanning about 25 years, as well as excellent experience in dealing with decision makers at the highest level. I look forward to working closely with her,” said Shola Taylor, Secretary-General, who made the announcement today following a merit based internationally advertised recruitment process.

 

Gisa is the first woman to have been appointed to this top role at the CTO. She has served as the regional advisor to CTO for the South Pacific since July 2016 and before then as the Head of the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Division on ICT development in least developed countries, small island development states, and landlocked developed countries with responsibilities for climate change adaption and disaster risk reduction and emergency telecommunication. She successfully managed many projects around the world including early warning systems using different types of technologies and supporting the development of enabling policies and regulations.

 

At the national level, Gisa was recruited by the Prime Minister of Samoa while she worked in New Zealand (2003) to help develop Samoa’s first national ICT policy in which the priority project was liberalizing the mobile market.

 

Her work resulted in Samoa being the first Pacific Island country to have launched and implemented a national ICT policy (2005) and the first Pacific Island country to have liberalized its mobile market (2006) promoting sale of mobile phones and competition among mobile companies that brought down the cost of phone calls per minute.

 

Through the ITU project, Gisa was instrumental in enabling the Government of Samoa to tackle cybercrime in the revised Crimes Act 2013.

 

Honourable Afamasaga Rico Tupa’i, Minister of Communications and Information and Technology of Samoa stated, “I am proud of Samoa having one of her daughters continue raising Samoa’s flag in telecommunication and ICT development at the international level. Gisa has been instrumental to the development of ICT in Samoa, within the Pacific and at the global level through her work with the ITU. Well done Gisa, I am very proud of you” Gisa has a Master of Commerce and Administration from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand.

 

“I am very humbled with this appointment and I thank the CTO management and Executive Committee for their confidence in me” says Mrs Purcell, adding, “I will take on this job with humility, honesty and praise God for his blessings and guidance. I thank my husband Lautafi Fio Selafi Purcell for his unwavering support, and my children for reminding me I am a woman, a mother and grandmother contributing towards the betterment of mankind”

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MTN Plans $500m IPO- SEC

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Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has confirmed that MTN Group had finally commenced discussions with the commission on its proposed 500 million dollars Initial Public Offering (IPO).

 

A senior management staff of SEC who pleaded anonymity told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that MTN had commenced discussion with the commission on the IPO.

 

The source told NAN that although talks were ongoing, the company was yet to formally file its application for the IPO

 

SEC would remain committed to the development of the nation’s capital market and listing of more multinationals.

 

Another source at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), who declined to be mentioned, also told NAN that the NSE had not yet received an official filing from the company, while there were reports recently that MTN Group Ltd. was perfecting plans to raise about 500 million dollars from the sale of shares in its Nigerian business in the first half of 2018.

 

Standard Bank Group Ltd. and Citigroup Inc. had been advising MTN on the disposal of as much as 30 per cent of its Nigerian unit on the NSE.

 

However, MTN had agreed to list the Nigerian unit as part of June 2016 agreement to pay one billion dollars fine for missing a deadline to disconnect unregistered subscribers amid a security crackdown.

 

NAN reports that MTN recently appointed a Nigerian investment firm, Chapel Hill Denham, as lead manager for the planned sale of 500 million dollars shares in its Nigerian business during the first half of this year.

 

It also appointed South Africa’s Rand Merchant Bank, Renaissance Capital and Vetiva Capital as joint issuers to the offer.

 

The telecoms firm also appointed seven placement agents that would help market the shares.

 

 

 

 

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NCC says National Roaming will End Rural-urban Digital Divide

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday national roaming and active Infrastructure Sharing in Nigeria would end rural-urban digital divide.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, NCC Executive Vice-Chairman, stated this at a stakeholders’ forum on “Development of Framework for National Roaming and Active Infrastructure Sharing in Nigeria’’ held at Digital Bridge Institute, Lagos.

Danbatta, who was represented by the Director, Spectrum Administration, Engr. Austin Nwaulunne, said national roaming had the potential of promoting seamless communication of subscribers.

According to him, subscribers will be able to roam on the network of other service providers where their own service provider is unavailable or has limited network coverage.

“The benefits of encouraging active infrastructure sharing can also not be overemphasized.

“Not only will there be noticeable reduction in network deployment costs, the industry will also witness acceleration in the take-up of broadband services and gradual elimination of the rural-urban digital divide,’’ he said.

Danbatta said NCC was committed toward ensuring the continued growth and development of the telecoms industry.

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