Etisalat has showed stronger willingness to inject fresh funds to recapitalise its subsidiary, Etisalat Nigeria, according to a report in Nigeria Today.
Following a meeting between the Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), 13 local banks and representatives of the firm’s largest shareholders from Abu Dhabi held earlier this week in Abuja, executive vice chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said that discussions centred on how to reschedule the $1.2billion debt with its accruing interest to facilitate the commencement of its servicing by the company.
According to Prof. Danbatta: “Etisalat has about $2billion of its estimated $20billion global net worth in Nigeria against which the Abu Dhabi-based parent company affirmed it would not abandon Africa’s largest market because of obligations owed local banks.” Although he could not specify when the UAE telco would inject the fresh equity, he assured that the commission would continue to partner relevant stakeholders to encourage investors through the provision of level playing field.
Prof. Danbatta added that the telecom industry in Nigeria contributed nine per cent to the economy in the first quarter of 2017. He stressed that despite the recession, the industry would continue to thrive especially as the Commission had secured a priority window for foreign exchange (forex) from the Central Bank of Nigeria for telecoms service providers to leverage on to cushion the effect of the current economic situation.