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$100m debt not hindrance to 9mobile takeover, NCC says

…Barclay hasn’t submitted final report to us – Senator Durojaiye The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said debt issue isn’t the hindrance to takeover of…

…Barclay hasn’t submitted final report to us – Senator Durojaiye

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said debt issue isn’t the hindrance to takeover of 9mobile by the preferred winner, Teleology Technology Limited.

The telecom sector regulator also said the telecom company will be taken over as soon as the necessary checks and investigations being carried out are satisfactorily concluded and approved by the NCC board.

Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of the commission, who disclosed this at the sideline of the 2nd Annual Stakeholders Consultative Forum with Academia and Industry in Abuja, yesterday, denied a report by a national newspaper that $100m debt being owed by 9mobile to some equipment manufacturers was delaying the takeover of the company by Teleology.

Describing the report as “speculative and incorrect’’, the NCC CEO said at no time did NCC or himself say $100m debt was delaying 9mobile takeover.

“I want to disabuse the minds of Nigerians, that information isn’t correct; it isn’t from me or the NCC. I never made such a statement. That is clearly not our position at NCC,’’ he told journalists in Abuja.

But speaking to journalists on the issue last week, the chairman of NCC board of commissioners, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, said 9mobile was yet to be taken over by Teleology because Barclays Africa was yet to submit its final report on the sale process to the NCC.

“We are not giving it to them yet. The Barclays Africa that rated them has not completed their work, and we at the board are yet to get the final report.” Senator Durojaiye told Nigerian journalists in Durban, South Africa.

The NCC chairman said Teleology would not get the 9mobile licence without the approval of the commission’s board of commissioners.

He said: “They can’t get the licence without board approval. They have to satisfy and pass some conditions set before the takeover. They must have passed the competence test, they must have the capability to retain all the former staff of 9mobile.

“We don’t want a situation when about 4000 workers would be laid off just because of takeover. Already there is unemployment in the country and we don’t want the takeover to add to that. So that is why we are putting every necessary thing in order to forestall all negative things that may occur after takeover.”

He also revealed that NCC was working to know the financial capability of Teleology before handing over 9mobile.

“We also want to be sure that their financial responsibility to the government will be guaranteed.

“The government needs money and we will not want a situation where they will be owing charges and taxes. But it is very possible that Teleology takes over the company soon or before the end of year,” the NCC chairman said.

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