Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja
The Central Bank of Nigeria on Friday said it intervened in the crisis between Etisalat and a consortium of 13 Nigerian banks over a syndicated loan of about $1.2bn granted the telecom company to save over 4,000 jobs and stripping of the company’s assets.
The CBN Spokesperson, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, said this in a statement on Friday.
He said, “Although it should ordinarily not be the role of a regulator to decide how individual bad loans are resolved, the CBN believes that Etisalat is a systemically important telecommunications company with over 20 million subscribers that, if not well handled, may have negative implications for the banking system itself.”
He further explained that the CBN and Nigerian Communications Commission had suspected that banks might go ahead in the usual way and downsize the company’s over 4,000 staff, adding that this was why they reached an agreement to intervene.
He said both regulators implored the consortium of banks to re-assess its position in dealing with Etisalat.