NCC Moves to In­ter­vene in 9mo­bile, Prom­ises to Pro­tect Sub­scribers, In­vestors

THISDAY - - BUSINESS WORLD - Emma Okonji

Wor­ried about last week’s pulling out of Tele­ol­ogy Hold­ings from 9mo­bile, the Nige­rian Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion (NCC) at the week­end said it has taken steps to ad­dress the is­sue in the in­ter­est of sub­scribers, in­vestors and the Nige­rian econ­omy.

The Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Chair­man of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Dan­batta, who made the dis­clo­sure, said NCC would do ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to en­sure that the is­sue is re­solved am­i­ca­bly.

Dan­batta, ex­plained that al­though the is­sue be­tween Tele­ol­ogy Hold­ings and Tele­ol­ogy Nige­ria was yet to reach the NCC for me­di­a­tion, he, how­ever said proac­tive steps had been taken by the Com­mis­sion, in line with its reg­u­la­tory man­date to avert dis­ta­bil­i­sa­tion of the tele­coms in­dus­try.

Dan­batta, said the com­mis­sion had al­ready made some moves to ad­dress the sit­u­a­tion in the in­ter­est of 9mo­bile sub­scribers and the tele­coms in­dus­try.

“The bone of con­tention is be­tween Tele­ol­ogy Hold­ings Lim­ited and Tele­ol­ogy Nige­ria, over some dis­agree­ments, but as a reg­u­la­tor that is both cus­tomer and in­vestor cen­tric, we have set up some mea­sures to re­solve the is­sue be­tween the two par­ties.

“We need sta­bil­ity in the tele­coms in­dus­try and we will do ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to pro­tect the in­ter­est of both the 9mo­bile sub­scribers and its in­vestors and en­sure there is no dis­rup­tion of ser­vices,” Dan­batta said.

In­dus­try stake­hold­ers who are keenly fol­low­ing the devel­op­ment at 9mo­bile, ad­vised NCC not to al­low Tele­ol­ogy Hold­ings to pull out of the deal.

“Tele­ol­ogy must not be al­lowed to trun­cate the 9mo­bile tran­si­tion deal. It must com­plete what it started and de­liver on the prom­ises he made to Nige­ri­ans when it rolled out its busi­ness model on how to man­age 9mo­bile and bring it back to profitabil­ity within few years of take over,” an in­dus­try ex­pert who did not want his name on print said.

Tele­ol­ogy Hold­ings Lim­ited, in a state­ment, had al­leged that Tele­ol­ogy Nige­ria Lim­ited had de­clined to ex­e­cute a man­age­ment ser­vices con­tract with the for­mer, which led to its pulling out of the deal last week. Ac­cord­ing to the state­ment, “Such a man­age­ment con­tract is the typ­i­cal ar­range­ment with which multi­na­tion­als op­er­ate in Nige­ria and is the tem­plate with which EMTS en­gaged Eti­salat prior to its (Eti­salat) de­par­ture.

“It is the same tem­plate with which Bharti Air­tel is en­gaged with its lo­cal joint ven­ture, Air­tel Nige­ria and with which MTN Group of South Africa is en­gaged with its lo­cal joint ven­ture, MTN Nige­ria.

“It is on the ba­sis of such man­age­ment agree­ments that such multi­na­tion­als are legally able to im­pact on the op­er­a­tions of the lo­cal op­er­a­tor in­clud­ing sourc­ing of rel­e­vant ex­per­tise and fi­nanc­ing as well as pay­ing div­i­dends to off­shore share­hold­ers.”

Tele­ol­ogy Nige­ria had also in

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