$1.2BN LOAN: Etisalat to know fate March 16

$1.2BN LOAN: Etisalat to know fate March 16

A crucial meeting between the GSM operator Etisalat and a consortium of banks, which loaned it the sum of $1.23 billion in 2013 has been fixed for Thursday, March 16.

The meeting described by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as a make or mar parley is to be held at the apex bank’s Abuja corporate headquarters.
Mr. Bidi Durojayi, a spokesman to the telecommunications regulatory body, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), said this is part of the ongoing intervention steps taken by both the CBN and NCC to have an amicalble way of resolving the issue, which was compelling the creditor institutions to threaten taking over the telecoms company.
A preliminary inquiry into the cause of Etisalat inability to keep to the terms of repaying the loan since 2014 was the alleged insistence by Etisalat International, Abu Dabi, the parent body, that all loan services of its subsidiaries be sudpended pending further notice.
“The company (Etisalat International) adopted various approaches to loan management , which have resulted in the current financial difficulties its Nigerian arm is facing,” said a senior management official of NCC, who pleaded for anonymity.
Even though it was learnt that the idea of taking over the firm has been knocked off the demand list of the banks, however, the forthcoming meeting will see the parties adopting a new repayment schedule that may give the indebted company room for operation without undue pressure from the banks, pending full repayment of the said loan.
There might also be a review of the interest, which the said loan had already accumulated, officials said.
It was discovered that both management and staff of the company are still on edge ever since the news broke that the consortium was approaching AMCON to appoint a receivership management team to take over the running of the affairs of the company as a firm nearing insolvency state.
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