MTN Nigeria, the nation’s largest mobile operator, has signed a N200 billion medium- term facility (MTF) agreement with 12 Nigerian banks which it would use to grow its network across the country with FBN Quest acting as facility agent. The agreement was formally signed at a ceremony at the law offices of Aluko & Oyebode in Ikoyi, Lagos, in the presence of key partners, stakeholders and the media. The two- year facility has a five-year period for repayment, enabling MTN to fund its capital expenditure, working capital along with evolving business opportunities.
The participating banks include: Citibank Nigeria Limited, Diamond Bank Plc, Ecobank Nigeria Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, First City Monument Bank, FSDH Merchant Bank Limited, Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria Limited.
Others are Standard Chartered Bank Plc, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, United Bank of Africa Plc and Union Bank of Nigeria Plc. MTN Nigeria has budgeted to spend N180 billion this year to expand its services to other part of the country, especially the underserved and unserved areas of the country. MTN is currently the largest operator in Nigeria with 41 per cent market share and provides services to 55 million subscribers. Mr. Akin Oyebode, who represented the chairman of MTN Nigeria, Mr. Paschal Dozie, said, “MTN has a company has been in the market for the past 17 years. It’s been significant. Innovation, geographical spread and network expansion. MTN won’t be where it is today without the support of our lender banks. These banks have made significant contribution to our agency network. MTN would continue to do what it knows best by providing excellent service.”
Speaking at the signing, chief executive officer, MTN Nigeria, Ferdi Moolman, expressed enthusiasm at the completion of the agreement, saying it signposts MTN’s commitment to and confidence in Nigeria, and the strength of the strategic collaboration between MTN Nigeria and local financial institutions, that would help deepen and broaden the provision of ICT services in Nigeria:
“The signing of this loan facility is a major landmark in our expansion programme in which we are making significant investments. The facility will enable us evolve the network to deliver convergent and superior quality, drive voice capacity expansion and data service penetration, maintain optimal capital structure and funding level that support growth and expansion.
“Making it possible for people to connect to each other and the world, find and share information and ideas, create and access new digital services and reimagine old services. This partnership puts in place infrastructure that empowers commerce, industry and the provision of public services,” Moolman said.
Mr. Remi Oke, who represented the group managing director, First Bank said Nigerian banks would continue to support MTN Nigeria. He recalled that MTN Nigeria’s sojourn in the country in the past 17 years has transformed the economic landscape nation. “Looking back, the impact of the mobile operators like MTN Nigeria is being felt across the economy. Today, communication is very easy and it has impacted positively on the financial services industry,” he said.Also, Mr. Adekunle Awobodu, chief financial officer, MTN Nigeria said the N200 billion facility would be used to support capacity rollout, provide broadband internet and digital financial services and products on the MTN platform. MTN Nigeria is part of the MTN Group, a multinational telecommunications group which operates in 22 countries in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. MTN Nigeria is Africa’s largest provider of communications services, connecting over 55 million people in communities across the country with each other and the world.