BY MARK ITSIBOR, Abuja
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) have jointly expressed displeasure over the ‘non-transparent’ process taken by the financial advisers handling the sale of 9mobile, Barclays Africa.
In a letter to the facility agent, GTBank, and was obtained by Thecable, leadership of both agencies say Barclays Africa has shown unwillingness to follow laid down rules in the bidding process for the 9mobile syndicated loan, pointing out that they have been having serious concerns from the time Barclays Africa was appointed as financial advisers for sale of 9mobile.
According to the online medium, the letter was jointly signed by the CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele and the executive vice-chairman of NCC, Umar Danbatta. Emefiele and his NCC counterpart claimed in the letter that they have been receiving reports and petitions from concerned stakeholders, including some bidders, which they have forced them to suggest ways to restore credibility to the process have been ignored.
“They have repeatedly exhibited signs of opacity in the sale process for 9mobile. Given the overriding public interest in the company and the need for transparency, we advised that Barclays advertise the call for ‘expression of interest’. Barclays declined, insisting instead that the company being a private one should not be taken through a public sale,” the letter which is dated November 4, 2017 read in part.
They further claimed that “This lack of a transparent process has proven to be selective and arbitrary, leading to allegations that the process is being teleguided to a rigged and predetermined outcome. The CBN and the NCC will not fold their arms and allow this to materialise.”
The CBN and NCC therefore directed that necessary efforts should be put in place by the financial advisers as well as other advisers from the end of expression of interest and communicated back to CBN and NCC for approval.
Both heads of the agencies warned that the process must be transparent and fair, with the financial and technical capabilities of the final bidders without question.
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