9Mobile has faulted alleged
reports of the emergence of a
preferred bidder and a reserved
bidder for the acquisition of as
a means to goad the regulatory
authorities in the wrong direction.
The belief is that an interested
party is merely trying to preempt
the outcome to suit its purpose.
Information gathered by
Nigerian Pilot from a reliable
source close to the transaction
stated that the bid for 9mobile
has not been concluded and that
the sums quoted as the financial
bids of both Teleology Holdings
and Smile Telecoms Holdings are
inaccurate. The source therefore
urged interested parties to play
by the rules and not to jeopardize
the bid process.
The source who is a stakeholder
in the industry urged the public to
await formal announcement from
the appropriate official quarters,
it noted that only the Nigerian
Communications Commission
(NCC) is empowered by law to
make such announcement.
He further stated that NCC is
wont to get the concurrence of
CBN in this particular transaction
given the involvement of a
consortium of banks to which
9Mobile is obligated
An earlier unconfirmed report
claimed that Teleology Holdings
had emerged the preferred bidder
with Smile Telecoms Holdings as
the reserved bidder. Teleology was
said to have pledged five hundred
million dollars (USD 500m) while
Smile was said to have pledged
three hundred million dollars
(USD 300m). The report, which
has now been faulted, led to a
groundswell of public opinion
urging the regulatory authorities
to emphasize more on parameters
that will ensure that any firm that
emerges the preferred bidder
for 9Mobile should be that
with the capital, capacity and
capability to sustain and enhance
the operations of 9Mobile. The
aggregation of opinion is that
the interest of Nigeria should be
paramount hence the need to put
Nigeria First.
Emphasis, according to the
preponderance of views, should
be on concrete contribution to
the growth and development of
Nigeria’s telecommunications
sector, Nigerian experience,
technology innovation, human
capital development and
employment opportunities
to Nigerians. If all these are
considered, volunteered a notable
industry leader who preferred
not to be named, Smile will
invariably and inevitably emerge
the preferred bidder for 9Mobile.
His view on the suitability of
Smile was collaborated by a
Lagos based investment banker
Lanre Raji who opined that
preference should be given to an
existing company with requisite
experience and capital adequacy
and not a special purpose vehicle
so as to avoid an unnecessary and
possibly costly experimentation.

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