9mobile Confirms Network Disruption 

 

Emerging Market Telecommunications Services Ltd.,(EMTS) trading as 9mobile former Etisalat, has informed its subscribers of some disruption in its services.

 

The Vice President, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, 9mobile, Mr Ibrahim Dikko disclosed this in a statement in Lagos.

 

“We would like to inform the public on network outage in one of its data centres which resulted in service disruption.

 

“We are aware that subscribers may be experiencing some disruption with voice, Short Message Service (SMS) and data services due to this technical issue.

 

“Our technical teams are currently working assiduously to resolve the issue within the shortest possible time.

 

“We sincerely apologise for the inconveniences this may have caused our subscribers and we thank them for their patience and understanding,” he said.

 

NAN….

Customs Generate N486billion In 6 Months – PRO-Attah

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) generated a revenue of N486 billion in the first half of the year, Mr Joseph Attah, the Public Relations Officer of NCS, has said.

Mr Attah told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday that the amount realized is higher than N385 billion generated the same period of 2016.

Attah said that the service also recorded 3,798 seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of over N7 billion from January to June.

The spokesman said that the agency made a seizure of 3,106, with a DPV of over N4 billion within the same period in 2016.

Attah attributed the increase in revenue collection and seizure to the Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC) zero tolerance on smuggling and the support given to officers and men to perform effectively.

“You will recall that around November 2016 to February, the CGC embarked on decisive reforms, and there was massive redeployment of officers and men.

“Also, there was the establishment of compliance team that is beefing up security at the borders, to block all non-revenue leakages.

“This is yielding result because when you block revenue leakages, when you effectively police the border, and deploy men and resources, what happens is that more smugglers are intercepted, more seizures are made.”

He said that when there was an increase in the level of compliance, it would boost the revenue collection of the service.

The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (retd), had earlier disclosed that the Service generated N720 billion in 2016.

He made this known while defending the budget of the service before the Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff on Monday in Abuja.

It was a subsidiary budget defence for Nigeria Customs Service as a revenue generating agency of government.

Ali said that the approved revenue target for 2016 was N937 billion comprising of 862 billion for the federation and N75 billion for non-federation.

He added that the service, however, collected total revenue of N720.7 billion or 77 per cent during the period.

He stressed that the revenue collected was with a negative variance of N 216.6 billion or 23 per cent when compared with the target for the year.

The comptroller-general noted that the revenue performance of N720.7 billion in 2016 had a negative variance of N13.6 billion or 1.9 per cent when compared with N734 billion collected in 2015.

”During the period under review the service also collected the sum of N177.93 billion as VAT on imports thereby bringing the total collection to N898.67 billion.

”The shortfall in the performance is due to the fact that no revenue was collected on luxury items and polished rice levy because of lack of legal backing to enforce collection of luxury items and no importation of polished rice.

”Also responsible is restriction of 41items from accessing foreign exchange at official window as well as high exchange rate of Naira against other foreign currencies increased the tax base of goods imported and reduced volume of trade.

”The scanners at the various Customs scanning sites are not functioning. This factor has adversely contributed to the services inability to carry out effective examination for selected consignments.

”Presently, only two commodities, cigarette and alcoholic beverages are under excise control and this did not help in the achievement of the N63.8 billion excise revenue target in the 2016 budget.

” The porous nature of the nation’s borders encourage smuggling activities and this constitutes some reasonable setbacks in the 2016 revenue collected,” he said. (NAN)

Budget: Ministers To Be Mindful Of Their Utterances – Saraki

The Senate on Wednesday again cautioned the Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola over his comments on the 2017 budget and the roles of the Senate.

Following a point of order raised by the Chairman of the Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje, the Senate advised all appointees of government to consider national interest above individual interest.

Speaking on the point of order, President of the Senate Dr Bukola Saraki particularly advised ministers to be mindful of their utterances.

Mr Fashola had raised the alarm that theSenate tampered with some provisions in the budgetand moved money to other projects not in the plan of the executives.

Although theSenate accused him of misleadingNigerians,Fashola insistedthat the action of the senate negates their function of appropriation as stipulated in the constitution.

He said that the Senate would hold stay on any action over the comments pending the outcome of the Minister’s summons by the House of Representatives.

“I am happy that the House of Representatives is also taking up this issue. It’s a matter that we must be responsible, especially those at the position of cabinet to look at issues from a national point of view and in the interest of all Nigerians.

“We will definitely wait till the outcome of his appearance before the House of Representatives before further contribution on this matter,” he said.

Earlier, the appropriation chairman of the Senate, Danjuma Goje said that he raised the point of order to advise the minister to conduct himself like a minister should.

He further advised Fashola to give the National Assembly its due respect stressing that the legislature was not Lagos State house of Assembly.

“He is not a governor and this National Assembly is not Lagos State House of Assembly.

“This is an assembly composed of very patriotic Nigerians, many have done his job, many were governors before him.

“Fashola should know that dealing with the National Assembly is not Lagos State House of Assembly. If the job is too much for him he should do the honourable thing.

“But no amount of blackmail by him, no amount of propaganda by him or by his surrogates will stop this National Assembly from discharging its duties in accordance with the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“We have sworn to uphold and protect this constitution and this we will do to the end of the life of this Assembly,” he said.

He therefore said that the Senate should await the outcome of the minister’s appearance in the House adding that further action would be sought if the Senate was not satisfied with the decision of the Federal Representatives.

NAN…..

Reps Summon President Jonathan Over Malabu Oil Scam

The House of Representatives’ Ad-hoc Committee has resolved to invite ex-President Goodluck Jonathan over the alleged diversion of $1 billion.

The committee is investigating the alleged corruption, malpractices, breach of due process in the award of Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 245.

Rep. Rasak Atunwa, Chairman of the committee disclosed this while interacting with journalists on Wednesday in Abuja on the outcome of the investigation the committee conducted so far.

According to him, the invitation of the former President will determine the next steps to be taken by the committee.

“The committee noted that it had conducted extensive investigation into the OPL 245 saga and that it is drawing to a close.

“However, the committee is of the view that in the interest of thoroughness, natural justice and fair play, it is imperative that evidence should be taken from former President Goodluck Jonathan.

“In arriving at this decision, the committee took account of the following facts:

”Jonathan was the President at the material time the ministers brokered the so-called resolution agreement that led to the allegation of $1 billion diversion of funds.

“Jonathan’s name features in the proceedings initiated by the Public Prosecutor of Milan in Italy,” he said.

“A UK Court judgement in relation to an application to return part of the money being restrained, castigated the Jonathan administration as not having acted in the best interest of Nigeria in relation to the deal.

“The Attorney-General of the Federation at the material time, Mohammed Bello Adoke, who, of course, has been charged in relation to the case by the EFCC, has recently instituted proceedings in court.

‘’He pleaded that all his actions were as instructed by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

“Accordingly, pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution, the committee has decided to request that former President Goodluck Jonathan give evidence to the committee, as to his role in the matter.

“The secretariat will write, him asking for his response and submissions.”

While responding to questions, he said that the former president was at liberty to make a written submission to the committee or otherwise.

He also said that the former president’s response would determine the next line of action to be taken by the Adhoc committee.

“The proper thing is that the committee has taken a decision that he must give evidence.

“Section 89 of the Constitution requires that we ask for the evidence; we’ve asked him for evidence and he must give evidence, we have asked him to give his response and submission.

“A matter entirely for him is, he may desire to send us a written submission, and we consider every written submission. We take it one step at a time.

“The normal proceeding for a committee hearing investigating such matter is to take a written submission and whatever comes out of that will have to be decided at the committee level.’’

NAN..

Meet Daniel Joshua Who Returned N-Power N60.000

Mr. Daniel Joshua, the Taraba state-born 31-year old, former N-Power graduate employee says his sound Christian moral upbringing compelled him to refund the N60,000 paid into his account, after he quit the scheme in April.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Saturday July 1, tweeted and praised Joshua’s rare display of integrity, which he said was worthy of emulation by Nigerian youths.

Joshua now works for the Central Bank of Nigeria in Benin. He is  from Lissem in Ussa local government area of Taraba state.

He told the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday that his Christian moral upbringing helped him to do the right thing.

“My pastor once told me that whatever weakens the conscience weakens the authority.And because i have always tried to avoid anything that will weaken my conscience, taking the decision to refund the money was not a problem.

“Although i didn’t have any money in my account at the time, the orientation from my bosses in my new employment about transparency, integrity and accountability also helped me quickly decide on the right path to take in the matter,’’ he said.

Joshua, who married in 2015 and now has a child, said some family members and friends tried to persuade him to keep the money.

“ But I am happy because both my wife, mother and elder brother, encouraged me to refund the money as soon as i received the alert for the two monhs salary.

“Yes, there were some friends and family members who persuaded me to keep the money, saying it was my luck,’’ he said.

Joshua graduated in Economics from the Modibo Adama University of Technology, Yola.

He said:“It pays to be upright at all times.’’

He advised Nigerians, especially the youths to be upright in their daily dealings and become good ambassadors of the country.

Joshua was employed under the Federal Government N-Power scheme as a Primary school teacher at Kaduna Lissem primary school, in Taraba, in January. He disengaged from the job after working for three months.

Although Joshua left the N-Power job at the end of March, he was paid N60,000, being stipends for April and May.

He refunded the money to the coffers of the Federal Government.

The N-Power management has commended Joshua for refunding the money. A message on its official Twitter handle reads: “We are extremely proud of Daniel.

NAN…. …

Addis Ababa: Mugabe Donates $1m To AU

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe on Monday donated $1 million to the African Union Commission; proceeds from  the sale of cattle belonging to him and is friends.

“You see, as an African and a farmer, the donation of cattle came to me naturally, given that our continent is rich in cattle,” he said as he handed over the $1 million cheque at the opening of the African Union Heads of Summit in Addis Ababa.

President Mugabe noted that he made the promise in Johannesburg, South Africa in June 2015 to donate 300 head of cattle to the newly-established African Union Foundation.

“…When I returned to Zimbabwe, I informed my party and people, they said to me: ‘Uh…Comrade Mugabe, Comrade President, this is a very innovative idea; it is a very noble cause and we would like to be part of it.’

“They therefore joined hands and mobilised more cattle over and above my personal pledge,” he said.

“I am aware that this humble gesture on our part has no universal application. But it demonstrates what is possible when we apply our minds to the most urgent tasks before us to find alternative and innovative ways of funding our union and in particular, Agenda 2063,” President Mugabe said.

During the Johannesburg meeting, the African heads of state promised to find innovative financing mechanisms for the African Union and Agenda 2063. They include 100 per cent financing of the AU Commissions’ operational budget; 75 per cent programme budget and 25 per cent of the peacekeeping budget.

“It is the beginning of restoration of our dignity and integrity as a continent. Unless we can do that, we will remain dependent on others.

“It is never going to be easy to win ourselves from the donor-dependency syndrome. But we need to forge ahead for our sake and that of our future generations. This modest contribution I am making today is a symbolic step in that direction,” President Mugabe said.

The theme of this year’s summit is: “Harnessing demographic dividend through investment in the youth”.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has called for the full implementation of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), especially the operationalisation of the African Standby Force (ASF) and the Peace Fund.

Osinbajo, made the call in his capacity as the Chairperson of the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) for the month of July, while reporting on the council’s activities and the state of peace and security in Africa.

He reiterated the need for the PSC to work towards removing all distractions and impediments to the full attainment of operational capacity of the AFS.

“To ensure the effectiveness of the African Union peace support operations, the Regional Economic Communities and relevant international bodies, especially the United Nations must remain strategic pillars of peace, security and development of the Continent as envisioned in Agenda 2063.

“We must redouble our efforts and, and without equivocation avail the necessary resources, in order to successfully achieve the goals set out in Agenda 2063.

“We need to rekindle our political will and determination not to bequeath to the next generation of Africans the burden of wars, poverty and misery.”

Osinbajo said It was therefore necessary for the Assembly to reaffirm the overriding importance of holistically addressing the root causes of violent conflicts in our countries.

He said that it was only through such collective efforts that the noble goal of silencing the guns in Africa can be achieved.

He explained further that It was also essential that the international communities including the UN continue to reinforce their support for Africa peace and security agenda such as the complementarity between Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“The tragic consequences of wars and conflicts in Africa are self-evident.

“The millions killed and maimed, the Millions displaced, children out of school, set us back decades economically and socially.

“Our resolve to end wars and conflicts in Africa is therefore our vote for a future of real growth and development for our continent.
(Source: Africa Review/NAN)

NNPC Gets $2bn Discounts On Upstream Contracts

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has secured two billion dollars  discounts in the last one year from renegotiated Upstream contracts being executed by its various service providers.

In a statement signed by Mr Ndu Ughamadu, Group General Manager, Group Public Affair Dvision, on Tuesday Abuja , it said the feat was achieved in the quest to continually drive down the high cost of production in the industry.

According to the statement the  NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, disclose this in a podcast message to the Corporation’s Staff to mark One-Year Anniversary of his appointment

Baru, who took over the mantle of leadership of NNPC from Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, July 4 2016, said already NNPC had lowered operating costs of production from $27/barrels to $22/barrels.

“For the Upstream, cost reduction and efficiency are key features that we will pay attention to”, he said

Baru directed that focal points for efficiency in each of the Corporation’s Autonomous Business Units and Corporate Services Units  should be identified to ensure the realization of the key performance indicators enshrined in the 2017 budget.

He added that the Corporation must attain a six-month contracting cycle.

Baru further said there had been a significant increase in crude oil reserves and production, stressing that during the period, the national average daily production was 1.83million barrels of oil.

He said that the Year-To-Date 2017 average production hovers around 1.88million barrels.

He noted that with the improvement in security and resumption of production operation on the Forcados Oil Terminal (FOT) and Qua Iboe Terminal (QIT) pipelines, the average national production was expected to increase and surpass 2017 target of 2.2million barrels of oil and condensate per day.

The GMD stated that in October last year, the Owowo Field, located close to the producing ExxonMobil-operated Usan Field was found, adding that the Field’s location could allow for early production through a tie-back to the Usan Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO).

The Field, he noted, had added a current estimated reserves of 1billion barrels to the national crude oil reserves.

The GMD said  that the Corporation had grown the production of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, NNPC’s flagship Upstream Company, from 15,000 barrels of oil per day to the current peak-operated volume of 210,000bopd in June 2017.

He stated that the ownership of Oil Mining Licence, OML13 had been restored to NPDC following a presidential intervention, with first oil from the well expected before the end of the year.

The GMD said the confidence of the NNPC JV partners to pursue newprojects had been rekindled following the repayment agreements for JV cash call arrears that were negotiated and executed for outstanding up to end 2015 by all the IOC Partners of the Corporation’s Joint Venture Companies (JVCs).

Commenting on gas sector, he said gas supply to power plants and industries in the Country had  significantly increased.

Baru listed the accomplishments of the Corporation in the sector to include: Completion of the repairs of the vandalized 20” Escravos Lagos Pipeline System A (ELPS –A) in August 2016 which ramped up Chevron Escravos Gas plant supply from nil to 259MMscfd

Other, he said was the Completion of repairs of the vandalized Chevron offshore gas pipeline in February 2017 which equally peaked the company’s gas supply to 430MMscfd.

He added  other accomplishment to include  the completion of repair works on the vandalized 48” Forcados Oil Terminal (FOT) export gas pipeline in June 2017, which had reactivated shut down gas plants, including Oredo Gas Plant, Sapele Gas Plant, Ovade Gas Plant, Oben and NGC Gas Compressors; and the commissioning of NPDC’s Utorogu NAG2 and Oredo EPF 2 gas plants.

The GMD explained that the concomitant effect of the efforts was a significant growth in domestic gas supply in the last few months, adding that during the period, domestic gas supply had increased from an average of 700MMscf in July 2016 to an average of 1,220MMscfd currently, with about 7 of the volume supplied to thermal power plants.

“A lot of Generation Companies (GENCOs) are rejecting gas due to the inability of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), to wheel-out the power generated”, Dr. Baru said.

Dr. Baru informed that since his assumption of office a year ago, resources had been deployed to the Benue Trough, with exploration efforts commenced there in earnest.

He explained that seismic data acquisition was ongoing in the frontier region using the services of Integrated Data Services limited, IDSL, and her partners to pursue Government’s aspiration to grow the reserves base of the Country.

The GMD stated that drilling activities were expected to commence in Benue Trough in Q4 this year.

He said: “We are working with the security agencies for an early return to the Chad Basin. Drilling activities will be a priority on resumption while continuing with seismic data acquisition with improved parameters.”

In the Downstream Sector, Dr. Baru explained that in the last one year, NNPC had stabilized the market with sufficient products availability across the Country through modest local refining efforts as well as the Direct Supply Direct Purchase, DSDP, scheme,  which he observed had saved the nation about N40billion in 2017.

“We have also commenced the resuscitation of our products transportation pipelines network, thus enabling us move products to depots at faster rate and cheaper distribution costs to consumers. The Aba, Mosimi, Atlas-Cove and Kano Depots have all been re-commissioned and are currently receiving products, thereby enhancing products availability across the Country”,  he  said.

Baru said in the last one year, NNPC had improved capacity utilization of the refineries with the projection that they would attain supplying 50 per cent of the non-gasoline white products to the nation, including Diesel and Kerosene that are commonly consumed in the Country.

The GMD said after more than seven years of dormancy, the Asphalt Blowing Unit of the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company, KRPC, was resuscitated to meet road construction needs in the Country.

He declared that efforts were ongoing to secure 3rd party financing to revamp the refineries to their full operational capacities. (NAN)

Price Of Diesel Crashes Further

Diesel retail prices nationwide are falling and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has attributed the continuous slide  to its sustained strategic intervention.

A national survey by Oil and Gas Forum, NNPC’s weekly TV programme, indicated that in the last few weeks, the price of diesel has fallen steadily from between N175 and N200 per litre as at June 18, 2017, to as low as between N155 and N160 per litre in some stations across the country as at last week.
The study showed that NNPC Mega Stations and its affiliates across the country sold the product for N160 per litre while many major and independent marketers in Abuja, Lagos, Kaduna, Onitsha, Enugu, Makurdi and most major cities were selling between N160 and N165 per litre.
In Port Harcourt the average price is as low as N150 per litre.
The Manager of a fuel retail station in Abuja, Ibrahim Isah, said the station had to reduce the selling price to N165 per litre in line with the prevailing market situation in order to sustain the turnover of the business.
An independent marketer in Makurdi, Innocent Abbah, said the going ex-depot price of diesel from tarmac or local private depots is N155 per litre.
However, the situation is slightly different in Asaba and Warri in Delta State and Uyo in Akwa Ibom state where most independent fuel stations as well as major marketers sold the product for N180 per litre. 
The price of AGO had crashed by about 42% nationwide over the last six months, following key strategic interventions by the NNPC.
In the first quarter 2017, retail prices of AGO, which is one of the deregulated products, shot up to an all-time high of N300/litre in major demand centres across the country.
The unpleasant situation placed a huge burden on truck drivers who use the product as fuel for their vehicles and the nation’s manufacturing sector which requires it to run its operations, as well as on the masses who need it for household power generation.
NNPC’s interventions included sustained improvement in the supply of the product and remodelling of the product distribution channels to address sufficiency issues across the country.
 
Another area of intervention that has enhanced supply and distribution of diesel is the corporation’s robust engagement with critical downstream stakeholders such as Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) as well as Independent Petroleum Marketers, leading to the resolution of salient issues.
 
The corporation has also taken huge steps to resuscitate some of its critical pipelines and depots such as the Atlas Cove – Mosimi Depot Pipeline, Port-Harcourt Refinery – Aba Depot Pipeline, Kaduna – Kano Pipeline and the Kano Depot which have enhanced efficiency in the distribution of AGO.
Efforts are also ongoing to revamp and re-commission other critical pipelines and depots across the country.
 
Furthermore, as a result of consistent positive engagement with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the corporation has equally achieved the expansion of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) Foreign Exchange Intervention Scheme to accommodate diesel and aviation fuel.

EU Fined Google With $2.7b

Google, a unit of Alphabet, the world’s leading technology company, has been slammed a record $2.7 billion fine by Europe’s anti-trust agency.

The fine signalled a tough stance by the agency in the first of three investigations into the company’s dominance in searches and smartphones.

It is the biggest fine the EU has ever imposed on a single company in an anti-trust case, exceeding a 1.06-billion-euro sanction handed down to U.S. chipmaker Intel in 2009, Reuters reported.

The European Commission said the world’s most popular internet search engine has 90 days to stop favouring its own shopping service or face a further penalty per day of up to 5 percent of Alphabet’s average daily global turnover.

The fine, equivalent to 3 percent of Alphabet’s turnover, is the biggest regulatory setback for Google, which settled with U.S. enforcers in 2013 without a penalty after agreeing to change some of its search practices.

The EU competition enforcer has also charged Google with using its Android mobile operating system to crush rivals, a case that could potentially be the most damaging for the company, with the system used in most smartphones.

The company has also been accused of blocking rivals in online search advertising.

The Commission found that Google, with a market share in searches of over 90 percent in most European countries, had systematically given prominent placement in searches to its own comparison shopping service and demoted those of rivals in search results.

“What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules. It denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate. And most importantly, it denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

Google said its data showed people preferred links taking them directly to products they want and not to websites where they have to repeat their search.

“We respectfully disagree with the conclusions announced today. We will review the Commission’s decision in detail as we consider an appeal, and we look forward to continuing to make our case,” Kent Walker, Google’s general counsel, said in a statement.

1.2billion Debt, Can Etisalat Avoid Takeover?

Some shareholder groups in the nation’s capital market on Tuesday urged Etisalat Nigeria to settle the N1.2 billion debt it owed 13 commercial banks to avoid a takeover.

A cross section of the shareholder groups stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday.

They insisted that the company must settle the debt for the banks to meet up with their dividend obligations.

Mr Boniface Okezie, National Coordinator, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, called on Etisalat to settle the debt owed the commercial banks to avoid a legal action.

Okezie said that the affected banks should approach the court for receivership if Etisalat failed to settle the debt.

He stated that the banks had obligations to their shareholders in terms of dividend payment at the end of the financial year, insisting that the debt must be paid.

Also, Mr Godwin Anono, the Chairman of Nigeria Professional Shareholders Association, said that the company should settle the debt and desist from making unnecessary noise about the whole thing.

He said the transaction was in line with customer-bank relationship, noting that terms and conditions must be obeyed.

Anono said further that the shareholders were in support of the banks to acquire the company if it failed to settle the loan.

“This is like any other transaction, it’s not government business and I stand on existing protocol that the banks should acquire the company,’’ he said.

In his view, Mr Sewa Wusu, Head Research, SCM Capital Ltd., said that the issue of loan between Etisalat and the consortium of banks was a customer-bank relationship which ought to be settled amicably with terms agreeable between both parties.

He said that the issue was beginning to elicit concerns in the banking industry given the level of amount involved and its potential impact on the balance sheets of those banks involved.

“But I think, the monetary authority is also involved to ensure prompt settlement of the situation among the parties,’’ he said.

Etisalat, on June 20, said it had been instructed to transfer its 45 per cent stake in Etisalat Nigeria to a loan trustee.

It said it had been notified to transfer its stake by June 23, saying that the stake had a carrying value of zero on its books.

However, in the last few months, Etisalat Nigeria has been in talks with Nigerian banks to restructure a 1.2 billion-dollar loan after missing repayments.

The loan is a seven-year facility agreed with 13 banks in 2013 to refinance a 650 million-dollar loan and fund expansion of its network.

Although the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria stepped into the fray to prevent a takeover by the banks, those discussions failed to produce an agreement on restructuring the debt.