Following interventions by telecom regulatory body, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Apex Bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) the rift between telecom operator, Etisalat Nigeria and a Consortium of banks is coming to a favourable end.
Etisalat has announced the appointment of a reconstituted Board of Directors and change in management of the company, a request the bank had earlier made as pre-requisite to further extending the timeline for the loan facility afforded the telecom company.
In a statement by the company, Etisalat Nigeria confirmed Dr. Joseph Nnanna as the Chairman of the new Board, while Mr. Oluseyi Bickersteth, Mr. Ken Igbokwe, Mr. Boye Olusanya and Mrs. Funke Ighodaro are also on the Board.
Mr. Boye Olusanya has also been confirmed as Chief Executive Officer. He replaces Mr. Matthew Willsher, while Mrs. Funke Ighodaro takes over from Mr. Olawole Obasunloye as Chief Finance Officer.
The New Board will midwife the company through the restructured repayment of the loan facility which had put the company in negative public eye and further ensure that the company comes back to profitability.
The statement from the company further assured that Etisalat Nigeria will remain committed to continuously serving its subscribers, through the provision of innovative products and services with its committed staff, partners and vendors to empower the needs of customers and improve their experience on the network.
It also read in part: “The Consortium of Lenders, working with the regulators NCC and the Central Bank of Nigeria are committed to the on-going efforts to restructure the company towards a path of long term success of the business and the appointment of a seasoned board of directors and top management is a testament to this. The decisions reached so far reflect the high confidence all the stakeholders have in the continued viability and sustainability of the business. The smooth transition is also proof of management’s commitment to ensure that the operations of the company run seamlessly, and customers continue to enjoy superior network quality and positive customer experience.”
It will be recalled that the media was recently awash with news of the purported takeover of telecommunications company, Etisalat, following the expiration of the deadline for repayment of the $1.2 billion (N541 billion) loan from a consortium of banks. This was however debunked by both Etisalat and the banks, which stated that both parties were working it out and had begun phased restructuring of the company’s management.
The debacle led to the withdrawal of parent body, Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat Group, a position that will probably lead to infusion of new investors and subsequent status of a wholly Nigerian company on the telecom firm.