CBN halts takeover of Etisalat Nigeria

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed the consortium of 13 banks involved in Etisalat Nigeria’s $1.2 billion loan to suspend further action on the indebtedness, including taking over ownership or management of the company.

The management of the telco blamed its inability to offset its $1.2b loan to the economic downturn witnessed in the country in 2015 and the sharp devaluations of the Naira.

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor, handed the directive when reportedly spoke chief executive officers of the banks that raised the loan for Etisalat

The CBN boss also asked the lenders to seek the apex bank on any move or measure they intend to take with respect to the Etisalat indebtedness.

Investigation by National Daily also revealed that prior to the Governor’s intervention and directive to the banks’ CEOs had agreed to issue a joint statement to explain their position and objectives with respect to the $1.2 billion loan.

Elsewhere, the management of the embattled telecom company has blamed its inability to offset its $1.2b loan to the economic downturn witnessed in the country in 2015 and the sharp devaluations of the Naira.

ALSO SEE: How Etisalat loan will affect the banks

In a statement issued by Etisalat Nigeria said the sharp devaluations of the Naira negatively impacted on the dollar-denominated loan by driving up the value of the loan.

”The economic downturn of 2015 and sharp devaluations of the naira negatively impacted on the dollar-denominated loan by driving up the loan value, thus prompting Etisalat to request a loan restructuring from the consortium of banks,” the company stated.

Moreover, the company said it had paid almost half of the $1.2b loan before discussions with the banks regarding the repayment restructuring hit the rocks.

The company also disclosed that it was not being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as widely reported in the media.

It described the reports as patently false and most unfortunate.

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