The Abu Dhabi owned telecommunications networks, Etisalat has ended its management agreement with its Nigerian arm and has given Etisalat Nigeria three weeks to phase out the brand in the country. The decision of the Abu Dhabi owned telecommunications networks resulted after the failure of its $1.7 billion loan talks collapsed.
Hatem Dowidar, the Chief executive of Etisalat International, said on Monday that there was no need for the brand in Nigeria after the collapse of the loan talks.
It can be recalled that Nigerian regulators intervened last week to save Etisalat Nigeria from collapse after talks with its lenders to renegotiate a $1.2 billion loan failed. Although Etisalat Nigeria, in a statement issued three weeks ago, claimed that it had repaid 42 per cent of the loan.
“As at today, we can categorically state that the outstanding loan sum to the consortium(of banks) stands at $227m and N113bn, a total of about $574m if the naira portion is converted to US Dollars. This in essence means almost half of the original loan of $1.2bn, has been repaid.
According to Ibrahim Dikko, vice-president, Regulatory & Corporate Affairs of Etisalat Nigeria,“Etisalat continued to service the loan up until February 2017, when discussions with the banks regarding the repayment restructuring commenced,”
However, Etisalat International announced on Monday that it was pulling out as all UAE shareholders of the company have exited and left the board and management of the Nigerian brand. Dowidar said discussions were ongoing with Etisalat Nigeria to provide technical support, adding that it can use the brand for another three-weeks before phasing it out. Nothing has been said about how this will affect the network and its integrity as million of Nigerians are subscribed to the network.