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NCC moves to sanitise 9Mobile bid process


NCC Boss, Umar Garba Danbatta

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has set rules of engagement that would not only ensure the transparent sale of 9Mobile but also the sustenance of its business after its take over. 

This is coming amidst disclosures of untidy handling of the bid for the telecommunications firm and the commission’s determination to salvage the deteriorating situation.

Its rules of engagement were contained in a letter from the Chairman of its Governing Board, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye to Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.  


The letter is partly in recognition of the fact that 9Mobile is indebted to a consortium of banks regulated by the CBN, even as the NCC and the apex bank have been collaborating to ensure the successful sale of the firm.
Media consultants to Smile Communications, in a statement, made available to The Guardian, claimed that the letter espoused the three criteria that would guide the emergence of a preferred bidder for the company. 

The first is “that any company that would quality as successful bidder for 9Mobile has the technical competence apart from financial capacity to turn it around and not further compound its problems.”
The second criterion is “that the successful bidder should come in with substantial foreign exchange funds to sustain the industry not just recycling funds facilities already within the economy.”  

While the third insists “that the company that will take over should have adequate technical infrastructure on ground.”  
The last criterion stemmed from NCC’s disavowal of the likelihood of the CBN been swayed by the creditor banks that “only focuses essentially on repayment of outstanding loans.”  

NCC’s concern for the sustenance of 9Mobile business after its sale is hinged on the need for “the continuity of the company for the betterment of the telecom industry, subscribers, labour force and the interest of Nigeria as a whole”.  
Efforts to get NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo, for his comments was not successful as at press time, as he neither responded to text messages sent nor picked calls to his mobile line.

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