Debt-troubled Etisalat has finally terminated its management agreement with its erstwhile Nigerian arm, giving the business a three-week timeline for the brand to be phased out in the country, Hatem Dowidar, the chief executive of Etisalat International said on Monday.
“All UAE shareholders of Etisalat Nigeria have exited the company and have left the board and management,” Hatem Dowidar said in an
interview with Reuters.
He 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.
Nigerian regulators intervened last week to save Etisalat Nigeria from collapse after talks with its lenders to renegotiate a $1.2 billion loan
failed. Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) tried a couple of times to mediate issues between the telecoms company and the banks without results.
The loan facility totaling $1.72 billion (about N541.8 billion) involving a foreign-backed guaranty bond, was meant to turn around Etisalat’s network and expand its operations in Nigeria.
However, Etisalat is claimed to have failed to service the debt as agreed since 2016. The creditor institutions subsequently reported Etisalat to the banking sector regulator, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and its communications sector counterpart the (NCC).