Hakeem Bello-Osagie, Chairman Etisalat Nigeria resigns

According to media reports, Hakeem Bello-Osagie, the chairman of Etisalat Nigeria has just tendered his resignation.

Available report said his resignation was as a result of the latest developments surrounding the company’s USD1.2 billion debt owed to 13 Nigerian banks and other international lenders.

It would be recalled that PageOne.ng had reported earlier the all Mubadala and Etisalat appointed directors had last week tendered their resignation reportedly to absolve themselves of the debt.

Over the past three months, Etisalat Nigeria has been embroiled in series of negotiations with its creditors as well as its major shareholders. While lenders were pressuring the company to get a concrete repayment plan, Mubadala Development Company PSJC and Abu Dhabi Etisalat were also threatening to exit their shareholding should the negotiations with creditors get finalized.

While Abu Dhabi Etisalat owns 40‰ stake in the company, Mubadala Development Company PSJC owned 45% shareholding, both companies have since announced their exit leaving behind the company for Hakeem Bello-Osagie and his companies Myacinth and Premium Telecommunications which owns 15% stake in the company.

Etisalat Nigeria is the country’s fourth largest and smallest mobile carrier with about 20 million subscribers. The company started operations in 2008 after it received a unified telecommunications license from the Nigerian Telecommunications Commission, NCC.

The NCC, Nigeria’s telecom regulator has warned that Etisalat Nigeria’s license was not transferable after lenders took over the company in the aftermath of Abu Dhabi Etisalat exit. The latter had announced last week that it had transferred its ownership to the trustee company representing the company creditors.

In its own case, Mubadala Development PSJC did not confirm nor deny it’s exit from the company. However the Central Bank of Nigeria through its spokesman, Isaac Okoroafor said the former had also quit the shareholding position after debt negotiations failed.

There were reports of a likely acquisition of Etisalat by Mike Adeniran, the billionaire owner of Globacom, the second largest mobile carrier in Nigeria. However, neither him nor his company had deny nor confirm those reports.

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