Home BUSINESS Teleology Holdings gets 90 days to pay $450 million for 9mobile

Teleology Holdings gets 90 days to pay $450 million for 9mobile

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Teleology Holdings Limited
(THL), the preferred bidder
for 9mobile Limited, has
paid the $50 million
unrefundable deposit for its
acquisition of the firm.
It has 90 days to pay the
$450 million balance to seal
the deal.

9mobile will be handed over
to Teleology after the
payment of the balance,
Nigerian Communications
Commission (NCC) Executive
Vice Chairman Prof. Garba
Umar Danbatta said
yesterday.

He spoke after the NCC and
the Central Bank of Nigeria
CBN signed a Memorandum
of Understanding (MoU) on
Financial Inclusion at the
CBN Headquarters, Abuja.
Danbatta said if Teleology
failed to make the complete
payment within 90 days,
Smile Communications
Limited (SCL), the reserved
bidder, might take its
place.

Globacom, Airtel, Smile
Communications, Helios, and
Teleology emerged as
bidders for 9mobile out of
16 firms, which filed bids
with Barclays of Africa,
9mobile’s financial adviser.

They include MTN, ntel,
Virgin Mobile from the
United Kingdom and
Vodacom of South Africa,
BUA Group, Morning Side
Capital Partners, Obot
Etiebet & Co, Blackstone
Private Equity, and
Hamilton and George
International Limited.

Airtel pulled out; Glo failed
to attach financial
commitment to its bid.
Danbatta said: “The MoU we
have signed is on mobile
money service and financial
inclusion; this followed
useful work done by a
committee made up of
representatives from NCC
and CBN which culminated
in the signing of the MoU
and on the basis of the
MoU, we have signed, the
two organisations have
indicated commitment
towards driving financial
inclusion in the country as
well as ensuring
inprovement in the money
mobile service
communication.”

Danbatta, who led his
management team to the
CBN Headquarters, said
NCC was targeting 30 per
cent broadband penetration
by the end of the year,
adding that the commission
has so far made 70 percent
progress on the target.

He told CBN Governnor
Godwin Emefiele that the
telecom industry has been
recording steady growth
since 2001, noting that in
the past four years its
contribution to the Gross
Domestic Product (GDP)
stands at 10 per cent.

Danbatta said: “But the
figures may not tell the
entire story. Investments
in the sector in human and
material resources have
continued on the rise. In
2001, the telecom sector
could boast of mere $50
million worth of investment,
but as at September 2017,
we have investments worth
$70 billion.

“The Value Added Services
(VAS) segment of the
telecom market in Nigeria
today is worth $200 million
and is estimated to grow to
$500 million by 2021.

“In subscription numbers,
the less than 500,000 lines
in 2001, have grown to
more than 147 million
recorded as at January
2018. Teledensity, weighted
in the ITU (International
Telecommunication Union)
formula of one line to 100
of population, stands at
105.21 per cent, while
internet penetration has
hit the 100 million mark as
at January 2018.”

Welcoming the NCC team,
the Emefiele described the
signing of the MoU as a
landmark event that would
boost financial inclusion
and transactions in the
country.

Emefiele said: “ Our teams
have worked for several
months trying to put things
together with the intention
of seeing to how NCC and
CBN can work together
towards driving the
payment system in Nigeria,
reducing cash transaction
and enhancing cashless
operations in the country
and it will also help to
facilitate financial
inclusion and also drive a
more robust payment
system in the country

“I am very delighted
because today with this
signing, we are now very
sure and certain that we
will very easily improve the
level of financial inclusion
from the level it is today
which is about 48 per cent
and we set a target for
ourselves that by 2020
which is in three years or
below that the level of
financial inclusion should
increase to 80 per cent.

“And I can assure
everybody with this signing
it provides framework for
licensing of payment service
provider and is a
framework that will also
guide the working of those
who are stakeholders both
in the banking industry as
well as the telecoms
industry not just mobile
payment but the payment
system in Nigeria.

“I am delighted that we are
witnessing this today and
we look forward to many
more years of close
collaboration between the
CBN and banking system on
one hand and the NCC,
telecoms industry on
another hand.”