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9mobile asks review of Negotiating spectrum management, others

Telecommunications service provider, 9Mobile, has appealed to the
Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to review the industry’s
spectrum assignment, data floor price and interconnect rates.

The firm, which made this appeal, when its management visited the
leadership of the commission in Abuja, stressed that the review would go
a long way to reposition the sector. They equally called for
concessional foreign exchange access and national roaming service, among
others “in order for 9Mobile to shore up its revenue and meet its
financial obligations accordingly.”

Led by the Chief Executive Officer, Boye Olusanya, 9Mobile noted that
the move smoothened the company’s transition from Etisalat.A statement,
yesterday, revealed why the regulator intervened in the matter.

The statement, by NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo,
quoted the Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umaru Danbatta, as saying that
the commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) waded into
safeguard investors, staff and subscribers.

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Danbatta, who received the telecoms company’s CEO alongside
Vice-President, (Regulatory Affairs), Ibrahim Dikko, said: “The over $2
billion foreign direct investment (FDI) by Mubadala of United Arab
Emirates (UAE) was hanging, while 20 million subscribers and over 2000
workers would have been affected if we did not intervene in the matter
with a view to finding an amicable resolution.”

According to him, resolving the issue was also partly to forestall
any form of disincentive to the investments.He pointed out that if the
company had gone under, “this would have created a social problem,
especially with the job of over 2,000 Nigerians on the line. Such a
situation was capable of creating security challenges for the country.”

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Danbatta further stated the commission collaborated with the apex
bank to avert a looming economic disaster adding: “We want to see a
viable and thriving 9Mobile and we want to cooperate with you so that
things can move seamlessly and be successful.”

Meanwhile, report has it that 9mobile has appointed Citigroup and
Standard Bank to shop for investors.Already, there are indications that
BUA Group, Virgin Mobile and Vodacom are amongst other investors that
have indicated interest.

At a media briefing in Lagos, Olusanya disclosed that the brand was
open to new investors.“The brand is very much available for someone with
good offer of investments,” he stated.

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