$1.2bn Loan Negotiation with Banks Ongoing, Says Etisalat



 Emma Okonji 

Etisalat Nigeria has said the negotiation between it and the 13 local banks that loaned it $1.2 billion for network expansion, is still ongoing.

 The telecoms company also said the negotiation had been successful so far.

The Vice President, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs at Etisalat, Ibrahim Dikko, who made the disclosure, refuted report, which claimed that the negotiation had reached a deadlock.

According to the report, the banks were under pressure to avoid loan-loss provisions, and were pushing to finalise the debt restructuring before next month’s half-yearly audit, hence both parties could not reach an agreement on the renegotiation, when the Etisalat met with the banks in London on April 28, led by Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB).

But in a statement signed by Dikko, he said: “The attention of Etisalat Nigeria has been drawn to news reports credited to some unofficial sources claiming that the on-going discussions with our bankers have become stalled or reached a deadlock.

“Etisalat Nigeria wishes to state without equivocation that discussions are not only ongoing with our bankers, but good progress has been made so far. We are optimistic that an agreement will be reached shortly and this will be communicated through the appropriate channels of the involved stakeholders. We appeal to our media partners who have indeed been critical to the success of our business over the years, to await the official communication of the outcome of the ongoing discussions and not lend their credible platforms to speculative and presumptive analysis of the discussions,” Dikko said.

According to him, “As a business, our immediate focus is to ensure that we not only sustain a positive performance, we are also in a position to continue to grow the business, deliver excellent customer service and increase value to our stakeholders which includes our bankers.”

He assured Etisalat’s esteemed customers, service providers and other relevant stakeholders that the telecoms company would continue to operate normally while the discussions are on-going.