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Belo-Osagie’s resignation opens new Etisalat’s debt liabilities to contractors

Barely few hours after the resignation of the Chairman of Etisalat, Mr. Hakeem Belo-Osagie, another round of debt profile owed contractors has raised its head in the telecoms company.

Otherwise, Etisalat will not be battling only the $1.2bn debt to 13 banks alone, but other debts.

Business Hilights gathered weekend that serious confusion may be engulfing the telecoms over the sudden observation that some top management employees of Huawei and IHS, (main contractors of the company) may have been owed while issues of $1.2bn was on front burner.

A national daily had reported on Saturday that a top management employee of Huawei, who pleaded not to be named, said, “The company (Etisalat) is indebted to us by over $200m and the agreement was that $10m would be paid monthly, which will serve as our operational cost for maintenance services and salaries to workers, who are mostly Nigerians.

“For three months now, we have not received a dime from them.”

It was also discovered that Etisalat owed tower firm, IHS Nigeria, over $40m.

IHS said that it had experienced instability in terms of timing of settlement of invoices with certain customers, including Etisalat.

It would be recalled that in 2014, the World Bank lent $200m to the London-based African tower manager, IHS, for the acquisition of about 2,100 tower sites from Etisalat Nigeria. Under the Master Lease Agreement, Etisalat sold its tower assets to IHS, which in turn leased them back in exchange for lease rentals.

Analysts say considering the latest discoveries of additional debt profile of the company which is yet to be audited, prospective investors and the government agencies currently intervening still have additional work and integrity test to conduct.

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