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NATCOMS Addresses Speculations on MTN’s Alleged Bid for 9Mobile

Amid ongoing speculation about the potential acquisition of 9mobile by MTN Nigeria, the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS) is expressing opposition to such a move.

NATCOMS is urging the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to intervene and prevent MTN from acquiring Emerging Markets Telecommunications Service Limited (9Mobile). The call comes in response to reports suggesting that MTN Nigeria is in discussions with 9Mobile regarding a spectrum acquisition, possibly leading to MTN assuming control of 9Mobile. Deolu Ogunbanjo, President of NATCOMS, argued against supporting MTN’s proposed acquisition, pointing out that MTN already commands nearly 50 percent of Nigeria’s telecom market.

Interestingly, there are reports indicating that MTN Nigeria’s strategic acquisition of 9Mobile is in an advanced stage.

The question arises: Why would 9Mobile consider selling its spectrum? In 2017, following the departure of its primary technical partner and investors, Mubadala of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), 9Mobile encountered financial challenges, prompting a decision to sell its spectrum.

It is worth noting that 9Mobile reportedly faced difficulties in repaying a $1.2 billion loan in 2017, attributing its inability to meet the repayment schedule to economic downturn and a decline in the valuation of the naira.

This is not the first attempt by MTN to acquire 9Mobile, as a similar effort was made in 2017.

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