Etisalat set to pull out of Nigeria in three weeks

An Etisalat Office
An Etisalat Office

Etisalat is set to phase out the telecom group’s brand in Nigeria, Hatem Dowidar, the chief executive of Etisalat International, said on Monday.

PREMIUM TIMES reports that efforts by Nigerian Telecom regulator to save Etisalat Nigeria from collapse leading to talks with its lenders to renegotiate a $1.2 billion loan failed.

Earlier in June, Etisalat, with a 45 percent stake in the Nigerian business, had been ordered to transfer its shares to a loan trustee after the talks failed.

On Monday, Mr. Dowidar said all UAE shareholders of Etisalat Nigeria, including state-owned investment fund Mubadala, had exited the company and left the board and management.

Speaking in an interview with Reuters, he disclosed that discussions were ongoing with Etisalat Nigeria to provide technical support, adding that it could continue to use the brand for another three-weeks before phasing it out.

“There’s a new board and we are not part of that company. We have sent our termination letter for the management agreement,” the Etisalat boss said on Monday.

Etisalat Nigeria took-out a $1.2 billion loan with 13 local lenders in 2013 to refinance an existing loan and fund expansion, but struggled to repay four years later.

Mr. Dowidar said parent Etisalat had written down the value of the Nigerian business on its books and that transferring its 45 percent stake to the lenders after loan renegotiation talks collapsed had no impact on the group.

When asked whether Etisalat would consider entering Nigerian market again, Mr. Dowidar dismissed the possibility of such move.

“The train has left the station on that one. Being in that market as an investor … are we willing to risk more money compared to the reward for the long-term?” he asked.

“(Nigerian) lenders may try to continue to operate the company until they find a buyer (or) they may merge the company with the existing players in Nigeria”, he said.

“The brand agreement in either of these two scenarios won’t be a long-term thing, so we take out the brand; in the long term Etisalat won’t be in Nigeria.”

The Etisalat boss explained that the company had been unsuccessful at converting some of its dollar debt to local Nigerian currency, adding that the group might exit or merge with a local rival in markets where it was not one of the top two players.

He, however, did not specify which markets.

Etisalat is among the top two in markets such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt and Afghanistan.


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  • Tales by moonlight

    Nigeria as Muhamadu Buhari’s kingdom
    …………………………………………………………….

    “It is the wish of the Hyenas and the Jackals that the Lion King never wakes up or
    come back, so that they can be kings. It is the prayers of the weak animals that
    the Lion King comes back to save the kingdom from the hyenas, the wolves and
    other predators

    ”………..Senator Shehu Sani

    “God has answered the prayers of the weaker Animals. The Hyenas and the
    jackals will soon be sent out of the kingdom. We strongly believe in the
    prayers and support of the weaker animals”

    ……………….First Lady Aisha Buhari

    • Mrs. Evaristo

      PLEASE TELL AISHA BUHARI TO GO TO THE KITCHEN OR TO THE OTHER ROOM.
      HOW DID HYENAS AND JACKALS ENTER BUHARI’S GOVERNMENT TO START WITH?
      INSTEAD OF HER TO BLAME HER HUSBAND’S POOR JUDGMENT, SHE IS BRAGGING.

    • ????????questo

      @disqus_P6H4CtCIeu:disqus,

      I want Premium Times to help me. Which section of the 1999 Constitution says that the country

      formerly known as federal republic of Nigeria is now to be called “kingdom of Muhamadu Buhari”?

    • derek kubua

      She is right…Zoo Kingdom

  • George

    This is one of Mullah Buhari divided of his two years to the entire world.

    Sia baba kingdom on the way

  • Austin Orly

    I just want Etisalat to pay me back for all my credits before and pay me another one million Naira
    as damages. When these Etisalat people go in three weeks I will miss too many important calls
    because that is the only number that people know. All the job applications i wrote is the same
    Etisalat number i put there. Therefore the damages should be more than one million, really,
    maybe like two million Naira will be okay. I did not ask Hakeem Bello-Osagie to go and take
    money from the bank and digest it in his stomach, like fraud, and later come to say that he
    can’t repay that bank loan. Fraud has no other name. Hakeem Bello-Osagie must face
    EFCC to explain himself on this $1.2 billion bank loan that has just dis-appeared.

    • Goks

      Abeg go and Saka (port) immediately. What are u waiting for if the number is very important to you.

      The new management might be able to rescue the company if they apply God management practices or better still, just sell it to a company willing to enter the Naija market.

  • soulchild

    When Nnamdi Kanu calls Nigeria a ZOO, people will say he is mad. Pray tell, where do lions, hyenas and jackals belong?

  • Infoezone Infoezone

    This is part of the reward of buharinomics. Such bunch of dummies in charge of our government

    • Mufu Ola

      Illetrate you must be. Etisalat problems started during your Jonathan era which necessitated their seeking loans. In any case other networks & other international coys running themselves responsibly are doing fine despite “recession” which has become swan song of lazy & dishonest company executives.

      • Infoezone Infoezone

        Cow brain. Is getting a loan sign of a dwindling biz. They could not service their loàn since your buhari messed up the forex market. Seek knowledge pls.

        • Mufu Ola

          It’s not but most of these problems predates the present govt. Only a dullard will deny that.In any case is Etisalat d only coy that got loans?

          • Infoezone Infoezone

            Why do u people always hide your failures under this. Is their any administration that did not inherit problems. Has our economy ever been good. Accept that buhari has been a monumental failure and save yourself heartbreak. This is most confused govt in the history of this country

          • derek kubua

            The money spent on buhari health alon, is the cause of our recession

      • derek kubua

        People use more of mtn , Etisalat not even making much money

        • derek kubua

          The money spent on buhari’s health alone is enough to render this country penniless.

  • Abdullah Musa

    Mission accomplished!
    Rape victim now pregnant, infected with AIDS.
    The only option is to flee.

  • Antidote

    “The Etisalat boss explained that the company had been unsuccessful at converting some of its dollar debt to local Nigerian currency, adding that the group might exit or merge with a local rival in markets where it was not one of the top two players.”

    This statement got me angry because I was a victim of this harsh dollar policy sometime in 2015 and 2016 after the Daura man became CIC. Buhari is burying Nigeria alive, that dinosaur have no idea what type of damage he has done to 180 million lives plus foreign investors. Foreign companies are folding up and leaving the country.