The Nigerian Telecommunications Commission (NCC) says it is taking proactive steps to cushion the impact of the takeover of Etisalat by creditor banks, assuring subscribers of the network integrity of the company.
In a statement signed by Tony Ojobo, its head of public affairs, the NCC assures subscribers and indeed stakeholder in the telecommunications industry of uninterrupted service on the Etisalat network.
The regulator stated that it is aware of the planned takeover of Etisalat by a consortium of banks due the indebtedness of Etisalat to the consortium and that in conjunction with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), it had mediated on the issue by holding several meetings with the banks, Etisalat and other stakeholders with a view to finding a resolution.
The NCC however regretted that the meetings did not yield the desired results.
“The NCC wishes to reassure the over 21 million Etisalat subscribers that it will do all within its regulatory power to ensure that Etisalat subscribers continue to enjoy the services provided by the operator,” the regulator noted, adding that it has taken proactive steps to cushion the impact of the takeover, without prejudice to the ongoing effort between Etisalat and the banks toward negotiated settlement.
“In view of the recent development, NCC wishes to reassure all stakeholders in the telecommunications sector in particular the subscribers on the Etisalat network that the commission will ensure that the integrity of Etisalat network is not compromised.”
The NCC specifically drew the attention of the banks to provisions of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003 Section 38, which states the grant of a license shall be personal to the licensee and the license shall not be operated by, assigned, sub licensed or transferred to another party unless the prior written approval of the commission has been granted.
Citing sub-section 2 of section 38 of the Act, the regulator also states that a licensee shall at all times comply by the terms and condition of the license and the provision of this act and its subsidiary legislation.
“Whilst the banks and Etisalat are working at resolving the issues, the Commission wishes to assure subscribers that they will continue to enjoy the services provided by Etisalat,” the statement pointed out.