The Chairman of Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Hakeem Bello Osagie resigned his appointment on Friday, June 30th following the approval of a restructuring plan for the telecommunications firm. The resignation is effective immediately, according to an insider source.
According to , a source said, “Although the chairman had planned to leave immediately the banks made the take-over move, he opted to tarry until a road map for the company was finalised. The timing of the resignation was strategically delayed till now when stakeholders have agreed a plan and comes more than a week after Mubadala Development Company directors tendered their resignation.”
The source also said that, “The development also reflects Mr. Bello-Osagie’s deep commitment to protecting the interest of all stakeholders. It is now expected that Etisalat Nigeria under its new shareholding structure will navigate through its current loan repayment challenge with minimum impact.”
It has just been less than four months since Etisalat Nigeria survived two alleged take-over attempts by a consortium of 13 banks it borrowed money from in 2013 to fortify its network and expand its operations in Nigeria. On each occasion, interventions by the telecom sector regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, its counterpart in the banking sector, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, were all it took to avert the impending doom such an action could unleash on the bourgeoning telecom sector.
However, industry practitioners are complaining that the impact of the attempts alone could threaten the strength of Nigeria’s telecom sector, considering that Etisalat Nigeria contributed immensely to the over $68bn market it has become. Part of the reasons that informed their fears included the pulling out of the two biggest investors, Emirates Telecommunications service of UAE and Mubadala Development Company, who together have divested their 70 percent holding in the company.
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