After a depressing operational battle that would have brought 9mobile to insignificance in the telecoms market, proactive regulatory interventions jointly initiated by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have helped in saving several billions of dollars of investors’ money in Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services (EMTS), trading as 9mobile.
The interventions, which averted possible collapse of 9mobile as the fourth largest telecom operator in the country due to a debt burden to a consortium of 13 banks.
This helped in preserving over 3,000 direct jobs and putting the telecom company on the path of recovery. Over 16 million subscribers on the network were saved from being cut off.
These were the highlights of interactions when the new Management and Board of 9mobile led by the telco’s Chairman, Alh. Nasir Ado Bayero paid a courtesy visit to the Management of the NCC in Abuja at the weekend.
Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, who received the 9mobile delegation, said “the interventions became necessary in order to address the decreasing subscriber base on 9mobile, save the country from image problem, instill investor’s confidence in the telecoms market and prevent loss of jobs among Nigerians.”
“By successfully mid-wifing the take-over of 9mobile by new investors, we are happy that the joint regulatory interventions have culminated in the stabilisation of the telecom industry as well as calming frayed nerves in the financial services sector of the economy. One can imagine the consequences to these two important sectors of the economy, if we had not intervened in a timely manner,” Danbatta explained.
While stressing the need for new investors to demonstrate technical competence in managing the operations of the company, Danbatta called on the 9mobile management to address its institutional structure by ensuring that core professionals are hired to pilot its activities towards delivery of good quality of service (QoS) to its consumers, whose confidence in the fortune of the telecoms company has been re-ignited.
Danbatta specifically called on the EMTS management to ensure it runs process-driven operations that make all its stakeholders happy on a long-term basis in line with the provision of the 2016 Code of Corporate Governance for Telecommunications Industry, whose provisions have become mandatory on all licensees to comply with.