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How NCC, CBN Saved Etisalat from Creditors- Danbatta

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Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, executive vice chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) staved off the planned takeover by a consortium of banks the company is owing over N200 billion.

Umar Garba Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC, who stated this in Abuja, also said that “At this point, let me assure you that there is no cause for alarm regarding the matter; the regulators are on top of the situation and details of the resolution would be made available within the next couple of weeks.”

“The NCC and the CBN have to intervene regarding this issue, particularly in a manner that will not disturb the business operations of all the parties involved and in the larger interest of the nation’s economy,” Danbatta said.

Danbatta said the NCC and the CBN scheduled another meeting for next week among the major actors, pointing out that shareholders would also be involved in the talks to ensure an amicable resolution of the problem.

He spoke of how in 2015, consumers spent $5.6 billion on telecommunications services. “And in 2016, they topped it up by another 1 billion dollars to make it $6.6 billion,” the NCC chief said.

To him, “today’s event is remarkable and more remarkable is that the year 2017 is dedicated to the Nigerian Telecom consumer – a management decision that compels us to seek to amplify our activities towards ensuring that the consumer enjoys a consumer experience that is enhanced and consistent in time and granted.

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Telecom

Reps to Investigate Pullout of Etisalat from Nigeria

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The House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on Telecommunications to investigate and ascertain the circumstances which led to the withdrawal of Etisalat so as to protect Nigerian subscribers’ interest.

This was sequel to a motion by Rep. Saheed Akinade-Fijabi (Oyo-APC) yesterday in Abuja.

Moving the motion, Akinade-Fijabi expressed worry that the inability of the Etisalat to meet its debt servicing obligations with 13 banks forced its foreign shareholders out of the firm.

He said the company was eventually taken over by the banks.

Akinade-Fijabi explained that the take-over was against the letters and spirit of the Nigerian Communications Act.

“The take-over of Etisalat which was renamed 9mobile by the banks is a clear violation of section 38(1) of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003.

“The Act provides that the grant of a licence shall be personal to the licensee and the licence shall not be operated by, assigned, sub-licensed or transferred to any other party.

“The Act further states that the licence could only be transferred if there is prior written approval by the community.’’

According to the lawmaker, Etisalat Nigeria paid almost half of the initial loan amounting to about N504 million dollars.

“Etisalat Nigeria obtained a loan of 1.2 billion dollars (N377.7billion) in 2013 from 13 Nigerian banks, with a foreign guaranteed bond to finance a major network rehabilitation, upgrade and expansion of its operational base in Nigeria.

“The company so far paid about half of the initial loan amounting to about 504 million dollars but it had reneged on its debt servicing obligations after the interventions of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the CBN to restructure the loan and new repayment deadline.”

The motion was unanimously adopted by members when it was put to a voice vote by the Deputy Speaker, Mr Yussuff Lasun.

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Tecno Mobile bags popular phone brand of the year & smartphone of the year award

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Tecno Mobile, has once again been recognized for her stellar innovations and user-friendly products as they bagged smartphone of the year and Popular Phone Brand of The Year award at the Nigeria Tech Innovation and Telecoms Award.

 

Speaking at the event, General Manager of Transsion, parent company of TECNO Mobile, Mr. Chidi Okonkwo stated “We commit our best resources to whatever we do and thus are always pleased when we get recognitions like these because they prove to us that indeed consumers see, use and appreciate our works.”

 

Mr. Okonkwo, Speaking of the brand’s dominance and successes, added that “Tecno Mobile is on a winning streak, not just in Nigeria but globally.

 

“Last year when we stepped into the international scene for the first time, several people questioned our tactics and critiqued our model but one year after, it has become even more evident that our ability to develop globally competitive products with deep local consumer insights is an essential ingredient in our dominance globally.

 

“Our successes in the Middle-East has not only bettered our books however, it has also made it possible for us to scale into new markets in Asia like India where we currently service smartphone consumers.”

 

Okonkwo won the award as a result of his outstanding contribution and impact to the mobile technology space in Nigeria.

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NCC, NSCDC Ink Agreement on Telecom Infrastructure Protection

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Nigeria Communication Commission and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Wednesday in Abuja signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to protect critical Telecom infrastructure from vandalism and theft.

 

Prof Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of NCC signed on behalf of the commission, while Abdulahi Gana, commandant-general of NSCDC signed for his organisation.

 

According to Danbatta, the commission is leveraging on the reach of NSCDC to protect telecom infrastructure.

 

He said that the infrastructure were being damaged and at times it could be unintended due to road construction.

 

The executive vice chairman said that the signing of the MoU had further lend credence to NCC’s commitment to secure the lives of Nigerians wherever they live, as well as protecting telecom infrastructure from vandalism across the country.

 

“We are concerned about this infrastructure and, therefore, we pray that through this partnership with NSCDC they will be protected.

 

“ These centres have been put in place to bring relief to Nigerians in distress.  They are provided to offer emergency services between the people in distress and the emergency agencies.

 

On pre-registered SIM Cards,  Danbatta said  that  NCC  would not allow unscrupulous few among the citizens to use preregistered SIM cards to undermine the security of the country.

 

“We must be seen to be doing everything within our mandate to end the use of unregistered SIM cards and, I want to warn those engaging in it to withdraw or the law will catch up with them.

 

“We will do all we can to make sure they are not in circulation. We have taken some measures, in addition to electronic forms to ensure we give a good example of those who willfully use the preregistered SIM cards to  commit fraud.’’

 

He also appreciated the assistance of the Corps to the protection of the centres which served as inter-face with the people.

 

Earlier, the NSCDC commandant-general,  Abdulahi  said that it was the corps mandate to protect critical national infrastructure, adding that they were ready to provide the equipment, and fire arms to protect the national infrastructure.

 

Gana said that the defence corps has offices not only in the 36 states but in the 774 Local Governments.

 

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