Hope not lost as Etisalat set to raise fresh capital, reassures customers of continuity

Etisalat Nigeria on Monday said it had commenced the paperwork to raise fresh capital to bolster its operations.

The Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Boye Olusanya, said that the company was also focused on getting back on track to making profits.

Olusanya, a former Celtel (now Airtel Nigeria) executive, took over last week as the CEO of Etisalat Nigeria following the appointment of a new board led by a deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria

“Our mandate is to make sure the business runs as profitably as it can. What is most important now is to ensure that the business runs and meets its obligations,” he told Reuters.

“Once we’ve got ourselves to where certain decisions are made and the structure and form of the business is formed, then maybe we would look at a capital raising structure that would be suitable for the nature of how the business will be run,” he added.

According to him, while the business can run without an immediate recapitalisation, he will not rule one out completely.

“Obviously, if it is possible to do it tomorrow, we will do it, because that enhances the ability of this business to roll out quickly and to get more subscribers, which is what everybody wants,” he added.

When asked if the company would drop the brand name as stated by the Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat International, Hatem Dowidar, on Monday, Olusanya stated, “We are still in negotiations with Etisalat over the use of the brand name.”

He added that the technical service agreement with Etisalat International covered the brand name but Nigerians were running the telecoms company.

The Vice President, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, Etisalat Nigeria, Ibrahim Dikko, shared Olusanya’s views, saying that the continued use of the Etisalat brand in Nigeria by the parent company did not imply in any way the discontinuation of the business as the country’s fourth largest mobile service provider.

“Contrary to certain misleading statements in the press about our experience centres and outlets being closed, we wish to state that all Etisalat offices, experience centres and outlets across Nigeria are in full operation and are providing services, including customer care services on 24/7 basis,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement read in part, “Etisalat Nigeria also reiterates its unwavering commitment to delivery of quality services and commitment to continuously empowering all segments of Nigeria through the development and roll-out of innovative products, services and solutions that help individuals, businesses and organisations solve their everyday problems.

“While we are intensifying efforts aimed at reaching full closure on ongoing discussions with regards to the transition phase, we want to assure that our customers and stakeholders will be duly informed as soon as these are concluded, including  details of a rebranding should that become necessary.”Punch

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