In order to avoid a takeover some shareholder groups in the nation’s capital market on Tuesday advised Etisalat Nigeria to repay the N1.2 billion debt it owed 13 commercial banks in Nigeria. This was stated on Tuesday in an interview with the Newsmen in Lagos by a cross section of the shareholder groups.
They asserted that the company must pay back the debt for the banks to meet up with their dividend obligations. The National Coordinator, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr Boniface Okezie, called on Etisalat to settle the debt owed the commercial banks in a bid to avoid a legal action.
Okezie stated that the banks in question should approach the court for receivership if Etisalat failed to settle the debt. He insisted that the debt must be paid, while stating that the banks had obligations to their shareholders in terms of dividend payment at the end of the financial year.
Also, the Chairman of Nigeria Professional Shareholders Association, Mr Godwin Anono, said the company should pay back the debt and refrain from making unneeded noise about the whole issue. He notes that terms and conditions must be obeyed and said the transaction was in line with customer-bank relationship. Anono further said that the shareholders were in support of the banks to acquire the company if it failed to settle the loan.
“This is like any other transaction, it’s not government business and I stand on existing protocol that the banks should acquire the company,’’ he stated.
Mr Sewa Wusu, Head Research, SCM Capital Ltd, in his view said that the issue of loan between Etisalat and the consortium of banks was a customer-bank relationship which ought to be settled amicably with conditions agreeable between both parties.