The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, says the Federal Government has stepped into the crisis currently faced by Etisalat to save Nigerian employees as well as subscribers.
A statement issued by Henshaw Ogubike, the Deputy Director Press in the ministry, noted that Mr. Shittu said this when members of the new management of 9Mobile network provider visited him in his office on Tuesday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the company changed its name from Etisalat to 9Mobile after its foreign partners pulled out.
Mr. Shittu congratulated the new management team of the company and tasked them to work hard to revive the company.
He said the Federal Government would not fold its hand and allow the company to die, in view of its economic importance to the nation.
According to him, about 20 million Nigerians subscribe to the network, many are employed by it, Nigerian banks are stakeholders, hence the government’s quick intervention to rescue the company from creditors determined to take over the company.
The minister assured the management that the Federal Government would always support the telecommunication sector by providing an enabling environment for the industry to thrive.
Earlier, Boye Olusanya, leader of 9mobile management team, commended the minister for the role he had played to ensure that the company did not fold up.
Mr. Olusanya requested the minister to also intervene in the areas of Multiple Taxation, Foreign Exchange, Right of Way (RoW) and security of infrastructure that would ease operations in the sector.
NAN recalls that Etisalat Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s fourth largest telecommunication firm, had been facing some financial crisis since Mubadala Development Company of United Arab Emirates, the company’s largest shareholder, pulled out its investment from the country.
Mubadala, an Abu Dhabi Government-owned investment and development company, controlled about 70 per cent of the shares in Etisalat along with Etisalat UAE mobile, with Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services (EMTS, promoted by Hakeem Bello-Osagie, owning the remaining 30 per cent.