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9Mobile Sale :Barclays Favoured Teleology, Group Alleges

Posted on Friday, February 23, 2018 No comments

Condemnation has continued to trail the announcement of Teleology as the preferred bidder for 9Mobile. The latest of the trenchant condemnation rails at the perceived tardiness by Barclays Africa, the financial advisor to the sale of 9Mobile.

Making the condemnation in a statement issued in Abuja, a non-governmental organization Business Renaissance Group (BRG), noted that the letter said to have been sent to Teleology by Barclays Africa was hasty and preemptive. 

According to the statement co- signed by its President Mazi Omife I. Omife and its Secretary Dr Funso Akomode, the group stated that Barclays Africa jumped the gun in announcing a preferred bidder. 

It noted that in a meeting held with the interested bidders on the 26th of January 2018, Barclays gave the two finalists in the bid process: Teleology Holdings and Smile Telecoms Holdings the opportunity to increase their bid for 9Mobile within 30 days which brought the deadline date to Monday February 26, 2018. 

The group wondered why Barclays could not wait till the 26th of February 2018 before its apparently preemptive announcement of a preferred winner. It therefore alleged that Barclays had merely changed the rules while the game was at its climax. 

Further alleging bias against Barclays in the handling of the sale of 9mobile, BRG recalled that Barclays had earlier affirmed that any preferred bidder on selection will need to sign a Sales Purchase Agreement immediately and will have to instantly pay a non-refundable deposit of USD 50 million. 

It decried a situation where Barclays has now given its announced preferred bidder 21 days to pay the non-refundable fee of USD 50 million. To BRG, this is a classic case of bending the rules and shifting the goal post to favour a particular team

The group further underscored its allegation of a less than transparent handling of the entire bid process by Barclays Africa by recalling that some of the earlier entrants, among them two major GSM network operators, had opted out of the process alluding to lack of transparency. 

It also claimed that at least two major vendors of 9mobile rejected the financial offers of the preferred bidder and had no confidence in weak and unrealistic business plan presented. And wondered how such a bidder with questionable business plan would be able to sustain and improve the operations of 9mobile.

BRG contended that the precipitated announcement by Barclays is indicative that the preferred bidder did not satisfy any of the precedent conditions. It therefore called on the regulatory authorities especially the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to take more than a passing interest in the bid process.

It advised that instead of the regulators especially NCC merely giving a stamp of approval to the seemingly contrived result by Barclays, the commission should undertake a review of the entire process.

Restructuring: Jonathan, Dickson, Top Ijaw Leaders Call For Sincere Implementation Of Apc Report

Posted on Saturday, February 3, 2018 No comments
Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Seriake Dickson (right) explains a point to former President Goodluck Jonathan (left) during a high level consultative meeting of Ijaw leaders in Yenagoa. Photo by Lucky Francis
The Governor of Bayelsa State, Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson, on Thursday led a high powered delegation of Ijaw leaders to former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to deliberate on the All Progressives Congress Committee’s report on Restructuring. 

Jonathan, the Governor and the top Ijaw leaders called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the All Progressives Congress to be sincere with the implementation of the recommendations of the party’s committee led by Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State.

The former President and the group said that, a holistic and sincere implementation of the recommendations of the report on restructuring would encourage inter-ethnic harmony and development in the country.

A statement by the Special Adviser to Governor Dickson on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, on Thursday quoted Jonathan as having said that, the issues which fell under the purview of the committee were exhaustively treated during the 2014 National Conference whose sincere implementation would definitely move the nation forward.

He said that, it was a good idea that the APC was able to set up a committee to look into the same grey areas, which featured prominently in the deliberations of the 2014 Conference.

Jonathan commended Governor Dickson for playing the leadership role of coordinating the thoughts of the Ijaw people on the sensitive issue of restructuring.

He said that the Governor must be appreciated for ensuring that the Ijaw Nation did not speak with discordant tones on the issue of restructuring.

He stressed that he was pleased that Governor Dickson was performing the leadership role in accordance with his expectations by coordinating the Ijaw Nation on the topical issue.

He said, “I am pleased with the caliber of people who came with the Governor to brief me on the issue of the recommendations of the APC Committee on restructuring.

“I must say that I am happy with the role being played by the Governor on this issue of restructuring. Ethnic nationalities must not speak with discordant tones on such pertinent issues. I am pleased that Dickson is coordinating the Ijaw Nation.

“I am also pleased that the APC set up a committee to look into the grey areas to come up with these recommendations. When we were in government, we came up with a confab and several issues were addressed which if sincerely implemented would encourage relationship in the country. A sincere implementation of the recommendations on these grey areas will make the country to move forward.”

Speaking also, Governor Dickson said that, he led the delegation of the Ijaw leaders to the former President on a consultative meeting and to brief him on the steps the Ijaws had taken to build bridges of understanding in the pursuits of what is right in the country.

He explained that, the meeting focused on the issue of restructuring and the moves being made to bring about a just, fair and egalitarian Nigerian society.

Dickson noted that, the recommendations contained in the report of the APC committee were the same as those contained in the 2014 National confab.

He said, “As you all can see, this is a high-powered delegation of Ijaw elders and leaders from all the zones from Ijaw nation. I am leading them to meet and consult with our respected leader, the former President and also to brief him on steps we are taking; steps we will continue to take to unify our people to build bridges of understanding and to support all that is right and good, not only in this region, but across the nation.

“As you are aware, there is a raging issue of restructuring and moves made to bring about a fairer, egalitarian, stable and prosperous Nigeria. And here, in this state and in this region, we are proud to have our leader, the former President and so today we came to brief him about the steps we are taking to study all the reports, including, the reports of the 2014 Confab which was rightly empanelled by Mr. President and it is gratifying to note a number of the recommendations given by the APC panel are the same conclusions that the 2014 Confab arrived at.”

The meeting was a follow up to an earlier meeting of top Ijaw leaders at Kiagbodo, the country home of Pa Edwin Clark on January 20, 2018.

The meeting, which had in attendance, the Governor of Bayelsa, Pa Clark, Alabo Graham Douglas affirmed that the 2019 general elections would be a referendum on restructuring across Ijaw land.

The meeting also called on President Buhari and the APC to ensure that the recommendations contained the report of the APC Committee on restructuring were sincerely implemented.


Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 No comments
A prominent developmental economist Mukoro Okotete had commended the contribution of the telecoms sector to the nation’s economic growth and development. Speaking at a seminar in Lagos with the theme “Nigeria: Sustainable Growth After Recession” Okotete noted that the impressive growth of the telecoms sector would be enhanced by the planed sale of 9Mobile. He however cautioned that for the sale of 9Mobile to yield the desired dividends, it has to be done transparently. He expressed dismay that some vested interest had sought to derail the sale by announcing the emergence of a preferred bidder. That the preemptive announcement designed to feather the nest of an interested party turned out to be false is a danger signal, which demands that the industry regulator should be more vigilant. 

Okotete noted that if the sale of 9Mobile is properly managed, it would have multiple positive effects on the nation’s economy. He listed the advantages to include deepening of the nation’s telecom market and the enhancement of effective competition in the industry. Such a transparent transaction will lead to a revitalized 9Mobile thereby enhancing the employment opportunities within the company. This, he added, will extend to allied job opportunities that will be occasioned by sundry suppliers, contractors and indirect staff. He emphasized that the multiplier effects of the sale to a capable and recognizable company are enormous and will serve the best interest of the country. 

In his own contribution, a communications analyst Enobong Udoh observed that although the Nigerian economy seems to be on the upward swing, the life of the average Nigerian is yet to record commensurate improvement. He commended the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for its ample contribution, in the preceding year, to the sustainability of the nation’s economic growth especially through the continued inflow of foreign capital. He urged the NCC not to rest on its oars in the New Year.

On 9Mobile, he advised NCC to keep to its tradition of transparent sales, which has seen to the emergence of only competent organisations as major operators in the nation’s telecoms landscape. He surmised that the two finalists in the bid for 9Mobile, Teleology Holdings and Smile Telecoms should be commended for coming thus far. He however opined that great care should be taken to ensure that 9Mobile is not handed over to “an unknown quantity” with the attendant risks. Instead, he is of the view that a firm with evident ability by way of enviable track record in Nigeria and other parts of Africa should be a better option. To him Smile Telecoms Holdings based on all indices of good business practice and performance will fare better in revitalizing 9Mobile than Teleology Holdings. To him, what is needed is “a tested and trusted hand” that will be able to turn around the fortunes of the ailing 9Mobile in the best interest of all and sundry.
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