- December 10, 2018
- Posted by: Myles Freedman
- Category: More Industry Insights
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is yet to issue a telecoms operating license to Teleology Holdings, the winning bidder for Nigeria’s fourth largest operator 9mobile (formerly known as Etisalat).
Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta said the Commission has not issued a new operational license to Teleology and has not transferred Etisalat’s operating license to the new owners.
“No licence has been transferred. The licence in the possession of EMTS, which traded in the past as Etisalat and later, with the approval of the NCC, as 9mobile, is still with EMTS,” he said.
Hon. Saheed Akinade-Fijabi, Chairman of the House Committee on Telecommunications, argued, “But contrary to this, we were reading on the pages of newspapers that Teleology had taken over 9mobile.”
The lawmakers expressed concern over the limited information available about 9mobile new owners and how they can be contacted.
“We as a committee do not know anybody called Teleology because they have never appeared before this committee. I believe NCC should know whoever Teleology is and be able to help us to call them,” said Akinade-Fijabi.
Representatives from Teleology are expected to appear before the lawmakers and industry insiders have told ITWeb Africa that this process will have a profound impact on what line of action is taken by legislators.
While the lawmakers may not directly stop the transaction that has already taken place, there is speculation they could mount pressure on the regulator to prevent Teleology from operating as exemplified by the license requirement.
“The lawmakers cannot directly harm Teleology, but they oversee the budget and operations of NCC which is the one that will issue license to Teleology or allow the transfer of Etisalat’s license to it. NCC cannot openly and blatantly go against the lawmakers, it can only lobby and endeavor to convince them to think otherwise,” said telecoms analyst Taiwo Ibikunle.