The executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, disclosed yesterday that the preferred bidder of 9mobile acquisition, Teleology Holdings Limited, has to pay the balance of $450million within the next 90 days to fully acquire the telecom company.
Disclosing this while fielding questions from journalists after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on payment systems in Nigeria yesterday in Abuja, Danbatta said the preferred bidder, which has already paid a deposit of $50million, has to complete the payment within the deadline to fully acquire 9mobile.
He said: “The information I have for you is that an emerged bidder has been granted leave to pay the reserve price, starting with a deposit of $50 million which the emerged bidder has paid. What remains for the preferred bidder is to pay the sum of $450 million in the next 90 days or less. After the payment of that balance, 9mobile will be transferred to the emerged bidder which is Teleology.
In the event that Teleology fails to make the payment at the expiration of the deadline, the reserved bidder will be considered, and the reserved bidder is Smile Communications.”
Speaking on the MoU, Danbatta said by a committee with representations from both organisations would facilitate financial inclusion in Nigeria. “The MoU was drafted by a committee made up of representations from the NCC and the CBN which culminated in the signing of the MoU. On the basis of the MoU we have signed, the two organisations have indicated commitment towards driving the financial inclusion in the country as well as ensuring improvement in the money mobile penetration.”
Earlier, the CBN governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said Nigeria targets 80 per cent financial inclusion by 2020. He said: I am very delighted because today with this signing, we are now very sure and certain that we will easily improve the level of financial inclusion from the level it is today which is about 48 per cent and we set a target for ourselves that by 2020, which is in three years or below, the level of financial inclusion should increase to 80 per cent.
“I can assure everybody with this signing it provides framework for licensing of payment service provider and it is a framework that will also guide the working of those who are stakeholders both in the banking industry as well as the telecommunication industry not just mobile payment but the payment system in Nigeria.”