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9mobile Hits 16m Subscribers, Blames THL For Exiting Board

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9mobile, Nigeria’s fourth largest mobile operator, said its subscriber base has added one million subscribers in the last six weeks and this brings its total subscriber base to 16 million, even as it clarified the reasons for the exit of its minority shareholder, Teleology Holdings Limited led by Mr. Adrian Wood.

A statement signed by Oluseyi Osunsedo, director, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs on behalf of 9mobile board of directors sent to LEADERSHIP stated that Teleology Holdings failed severally and wholly to meet their obligations to the partnership in terms of financial resources, physical availability for crucial meetings and extensive network to help build the business.

According to her, Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Ltd. trading as 9mobile deems it necessary to respond to the myriad of false, misleading, and malicious media reports currently in circulation while remaining resolutely focused on rewarding our loyal customers and attracting new ones with the best telecom services in Nigeria.

She stated that Teleology Nigeria Limited is a consortium including several local and foreign investors. “While every partner in the consortium was delivering and meeting their obligations to the partnership in terms of financial resources, physical availability for crucial meetings and extensive network to help build the business.

“Mr. Wood was not personally present for all the critical presentations made by the consortium during the bid process and failed abjectly with his financing arrangements with Swiss-based UBS Bank. In all these failings, other partners in the consortium filled the gap and pushed ahead until the sale was completed,” she explained.

The 9mobile spokesperson said since taking over the company, and without any assistance from Mr. Wood or Teleology Holdings, the board has revived and enhanced relationships with key vendors and core business accounts; improved business relationships with suppliers; enhanced its core network capabilities to deliver network efficiency competitively with other operators.

“With the assistance of leading global consultants, the company is also undertaking a complete review of its operational, regulatory, financial and technical architecture. On these basis, 9mobile has emerged from a period of uncertainty over the past two years to attain an active subscriber base of 16 million, representing a net increase of over 1 million subscribers in the last six weeks alone,” she added.

Osunsedo said the company’s core strategy in the short to medium-term shall be underpinned by cost efficiency, innovative product development, network efficiency and strategic technical partnerships.

“We believe that this approach towards organic growth is more sustainable in building a strong Nigerian telecom operator, which taps into the deep technical expertise of the Nigerian labour force than an approach motivated by short-term financial gain advocated by Mr. Wood and his associates.

“It is regrettable that Mr. Wood has allowed the same avarice, rascality, impatience and knavery that characterised his turbulent association with, and inglorious exits from several other companies to manifest again so early in 9mobile.

“While we wish him well in his future endeavors, we unequivocally assure our customers, suppliers, partners, regulators, and stakeholders that the board is committed to continuing the upward mobility of 9mobile.

“Having invested so heavily in buying the company, and assembling a reliable team to pursue our goals, we want to categorically state that no distractions can stop us from this mission,” she added.

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