Some shareholder groups in the nation’s capital market on Tuesday urged Etisalat Nigeria to settle the $1.2 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(NAN)