The storms and whirlwinds that have troubled Etisalat Nigeria have been a difficult challenge to the telecommunications giant in Nigeria. After facing the sanctions of not paying up bank debts on time, banks taking over the group, the CEO of Etisalat Nigeria stepping down and so on and so forth. It was obvious that the whirlwinds had a deep effect on the brand. What kept on running on the minds of people was: Will this be the end of Etisalat Nigeria, or will Etisalat Nigeria bounce back for the best?
The decision made by the Etisalat Group to terminate its stakeholding capacity in Etisalat Nigeria is definitely a huge blow. This announcement was made by the CEO of Etisaalat International, Hatem Dowidar. This meant that the UAE shareholders in the Etisalat Group have taken the exit doors from the Nigerian arm of Etisalat, and that Etisalat Group have ended the management agreement in place with Etisalat Nigeria.
“There’s a new board and we are not part of that company. We have sent our termination letter for the management agreement,” Dowidar said while speaking to Reuters.
“(Nigerian) lenders may try to continue to operate the company until they find a buyer (or) they may merge the company with the existing players in Nigeria,” he said.
It shouldn’t be forgotten that there was a speculation about the Founder and CEO of Glo intending to buy Etisalat Nigeria. Either true or false, it can be seen that the door for such negotiations have been thrown wide open.
“The brand agreement in either of these two scenarios won’t be a long-term thing, so we take out the brand; in the long term Etisalat won’t be in Nigeria.”
When asked about the likelihood of Etisalat Group coming back into the Nigerian market, Dowidar was coy with his response.
He said, “The train has left the station on that one. Being in that market as an investor … are we willing to risk more money compared to the reward for the long-term?”
However, Dowidar added that the Etisalat Group will add more technical support for at least another three weeks to aid the company’s development.