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9Mobile Sale: NCC Chairman Allegedly Changes Rules to Favour Smile Telecoms


(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Chairman, Board of the Nigerian Communications Commission NCC, Chief Olabiyi Durojaiye is being accused of manipulating the ongoing moves to sale one of the Nigerian Telecommunication giants, 9mobile.

Durojaiye’s  sudden ”change of rules” is being speculated to favour a telecommunication firm – Smile Telecoms Holdings against other more qualified companies.

It would be recalled that 9mobile was initially approved for sale to Teleology Holdings Ltd, whose bid was preferred to Smile Telecoms, hence, its non-refundable deposit of $50 million.

Shockingly, the NCC Chairman in a letter dated March 14, 2018 to the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, was found to be listing new criteria of “technical expertise” and “at least three years operational history”, some days after the initial sale was approved and all processes concluded.

More worrisome among Chief Durojaye’s latest actions is the fact that he had never been found writing any correspondence, as he did recently on behalf of the NCC on the deal since the transaction started in 2017.

African Examiner gathered that contrary to his action, Durojaye by constitution, lacks the powers to execute the alleged manipulation he presently engages himself  to stop the transaction.

With the change in the rules orchestrated by the NCC board Chairman, Teleology is the only company on the final shortlist – a special purpose vehicle (SPV) and does not meet the new criteria by him.

Other finalists include: Smile, Helios, Globacom and Airtel, all of which meet Durojaiye’s new criterion of “operational experience”.

However, Airtel pulled out of the final leg in the bid process, while Globacom and Helios did not name any price.

This development makes Smile Telecoms as the last man standing if Teleology is knocked out based on the new criteria.

 

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