The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has described the process involved in the sale of 9mobile as inconclusive and said it warrants further extension.
“We just need to wait for another 30 to 40 days to have clarity on where to go to,” said Sunday Dare, NCC’s Executive Commissioner for Stakeholder Management.
According to Dare, the NCC had not been notified by 9mobile’s interim board that a winner has emerged in the sale being undertaken by Barclays Africa.
“It meant that the process has not been completed. The interim board of 9mobile is yet to communicate to the NCC and that’s because the process is still ongoing. There are two regulators involved in the issue, the financial and telecoms regulator. Unless the final process is complete, the licensing process doesn’t really kick in,” he said.
Dare assured subscribers and industry stakeholders that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the NCC are working together to see that 9mobile is saved.
“We have saved jobs and saved 9mobile from crashing and we kept up other creditors that have been working with them,” he added.
The refusal of Barclays Africa, 9mobile’s interim board, NCC, CBN and others to make public statements has resulted in conflicting reports.
“Because of all these unconfirmed reports, subscriber base of 9mobile dropped from 21 million to 17 million,” said Dare.
Reports have named Teleology Holdings as the preferred bidder, while others have suggested Smile Telecoms Holdings, which operates in Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Congo DR and South Africa, is the reserve bidder.