By Emmanuel Elebeke
ABUJA – The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that its intervention in the ongoing N54.8 billion Etisalat debt saga was informed by the desire to sustain the industry’s significant contribution to National GDP, employment creation and infrastructure roll-out.
The Commission made this known while reacting to stakeholder enquiries regarding the current position on Etisalat Nigeria.
In a statement signed by the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Tony Ojobo, the Commission noted that Etisalat and its creditors have successfully reached an amicable resolution of key issues pertaining to its indebtedness, and that a smooth transitional process is currently ongoing on mutually agreed terms.
Ojobo said the Commission was confident that Etisalat would come out stronger in amicable resolution of the matter.
‘‘NCC is mindful of the need to sustain the industry’s significant contribution to National GDP, employment and infrastructure roll-out at all times.
‘‘The Commission is confident that the amicable resolutions reached by the parties will further strengthen Etisalat’s capacity to continue to provide services to its over 20 million customers and to fulfil its obligations to its other stakeholders as a going concern, regardless of any changes that the parties have agreed to Etisalat’s Ownership, its Board and/or its Executive Management.
‘‘We further wish to assure that as empowered by the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, the Commission will continue to work assiduously with all industry stakeholders to ensure that the Nigerian telecommunications industry remains capable of playing its critical role as a key driver of national socio-economic development.
He advised subscribers of Etisalat Nigeria not to panic over the current debt challenges facing the company, assuring that the integrity of the telecom operator is still very much intact.
The Commission also acknowledged the role of the Central Bank of Nigeria in resolving the matter in a manner that protects the interests of all stakeholders – especially the creditor banks and Etisalat’s over 20 million customers.