Breaking: Why Adenuga’s Globacom Cannot Afford 9mobile

BEVERLY HILLS, January 16, (THEWILL) – These are definitely not the best of times for the flamboyant Nigerian billionaire, Michael Adeniyi Agbolade Ishola Adenuja, Jr as mounting telecommunications debts and Globacom’s expulsion from Benin Republic suggests that he is cash-strapped.

With millions of dollars in unpaid outstanding telecommunication fees due to the federal government of Nigeria, Globacom (Glo), which is wholly owned by the businessman, clearly does not have the cash to acquire 9 mobile (formerly Etisalat), THEWILL can authoritatively report.

Globacom alongside Airtel, Smile Communications, Helios, and Teleology Holdings Limited are the preferred bidders for the troubled 9mobile.

The deadline for submissions of binding offers was set for January 16, 2018 after an initial extension was made at the instance of the Interim Board of 9mobile. The sale process is being managed by Barclays Africa.

A breakdown of Globacom’s indebtedness to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), which THEWILL exclusively obtained shows that the company is yet to pay $282 million dollars for its GSM license renewal fees. Glo’s license, which is renewable every 10 years, expired last year.

Globacom has also been unable to pay over N1.4bn owed the NCC in outstanding fees for the frequency spectrum license that it holds. The fees have been due since November 2017, according to THEWILL checks at the NCC.

How Adenuga plans to raise at least $1bn to acquire 9mobile, which owes a consortium of Nigerian banks about $1.2bn in loans, with its crippling indebtedness to government remains a façade, insiders told THEWILL.

Globacom’s financial troubles have been mounting for a while according to sources familiar with the company’s operations. The company was tossed out of Benin Republic in December after it failed to pay up to renew its operational license. It had more than 1.6 million subscribers as at 2015, according to information on the website of Autorite De Regulation Des Communications Électroniques Et De La Poste (ARCEP)-Benin, the regulator in the border country.

THEWILL also recalls that Globacom holds Nigeria’s second National Operator license and has been able to fund the deployment of fixed land lines as stipulated under the terms of the license due to cash constrains.

Adenuga is not a stranger to controversies. In 2001, his first attempt to acquire a GSM license under his investment vehicle, Communications Investments Limited (CIL) was a complete disaster, costing him to lose his bid deposit of $20m due to his inability to pay the $265m license fees within the timeline set by the government during Nigeria’s first open GSM license auction.

Subscriber statistics from the NCC as at June 2017 places Globacom with about 37m subscribers as the second biggest operator, with MTN coming first with 58m, Airtel with about 34million and 9mobile with about 19m.

The NCC in a recent statement explaining how the winning bid for 9mobile will be announced after dismissing some news reports that Globacom had been chosen as buyer for 9mobile, said the winner will be announced after Barclays has reviewed the bids and made “recommendations to the 9Mobile Interim Board thereafter.”

“The NCC and CBN will be duly notified once the 9Mobile Interim Board accepts Barclays’ recommendations and a winning bid is determined in accordance with the terms of the exercise.

“The winner will now apply to NCC in order to commence the processes for securing the regulatory approvals from the Board of the NCC necessary to give full effect to the transfer.”

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NAFDAC to Commence Nationwide Campaign Against Fake, Substandard Drugs

Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye

…To save N200m annually from traveling and meeting grants

Martins Ifijeh

The National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC says it will in March this year commence a nationwide campaign against falsified and substandard drugs in Nigeria.

Stating this in a meeting with staff in Lagos recently, the Director General of the Agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye said the campaign will start from six states of the federation, and would be aimed at sensitizing school children and people at the grassroots on the consequences of drug abuse and substandard products and medicines.

She said the Agency will no longer entertain third party purchase of equipment, even as she has moved to save not less than 200 million spent annually on travels and meetings by staff of the agency.

In what appears like a riot act in her nine priority lists, Adeyeye said all was set to align NAFDAC with international standards in medical product regulation to enhance quality testing of medicines and food. “After a tour of the Oshodi and Yaba including the Biologics laboratory in December, I realized that majority of the lab equipment pieces and instruments need repair or replacement.

“Almost all the equipment pieces and instruments including the partially installed ones were purchased from one vendor. No more third party purchase of lab equipment and supplies,” she added.

Adeyeye expressed displeasure that a 810KV generator that was bought in 2014 did not work for even a day while another 1000 KV generator purchased same year never worked for three months with 2X 509 KVA generators.

Pledging that her administration would replace these equipment, she said already, laboratory services’ oversight had been relocated to the DG’s office for proper monitoring.

“We have contacted the vendor that supplied them. We are investigating what went wrong.”

Continuing, Adeyeye said as part of the priority to build a functioning information communication technology, the agency is set to cut down traveling and meeting expenses of staff and channel the resources to repair infrastructure and purchase of equipment
Adeyeye explained that the agency would save at least 200 million annually from travelling and meeting expenses between Lagos and Abuja, if video conferencing is put in place.

“Video conferencing equipment should be installed by February 5, 2018. Already, three vendors bid have been evaluated and equipment will be ordered by January 18.

Regretting that effective communication was virtually non existence in NAFDAC, she directed that all staff of the agency must use for best practices with stakeholders especially overseas partners.

Adeyeye who further announced plans to launch a nationwide campaign against drug abuse and narcotics, substandard and falsified drugs among others.

Explaining that NAFDAC plans to fund Young Pharmacists Group, YPG, of the PSN,she explained that the aim behind the campaign was to sensitize school children and people at the grassroots on drug abuse and substandard medical products.

The Director General further disclosed that the campaign which is expected to commence in March this year, would come up in six different states of the federation.

The states are; Kwara, Anambra, Kano, Osun, Delta, and Lagos.

Adeyeye who highlighted some of the challenges confronting NAFDAC to include lack of funds, infrastructure and equipment, said parts of solutions to current challenges include giving attention to critical needs of the agency. “Many of the priority are budgetary in nature. I have redone our 2018 budget by moving monies to areas of urgent need,” she stated.

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Nigerian Stock Exchange suspends trading in 7-Up shares

By Tonye Peterside
George Osodi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, has announced the suspension of trading in shares of 7-Up Bottling Company Plc.

According to a suspension notice dated January 12, the NSE said trading in the shares of 7-Up Bottling Company Plc has been placed on full suspension.

The notice, signed by Godstime Iwenekhai, Head, Listings Regulation Department, said the suspension was necessitated by the need to ascertain the company’s majority shareholder.

“The suspension is for the purpose of determining the shareholders who will qualify to receive the Scheme consideration following the decision of the company’s majority shareholder, Affelka S.A (“Affelka”), to acquire all outstanding and issued shares of 7-Up Bottling Company Plc that are not currently owned by Affelka,” the NSE said in its notice.

It explained that the company’s shareholders passed a resolution to this effect at the Court Ordered Meeting of the company held on Thursday, January 11.

The scheme will result in the voluntarily de-listing of 7-Up Bottling Company Plc from the Daily Official List of The Exchange, the notice said.

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Nigerian Stock Exchange trading succumbs to profit taking, index down by 0.33 percent

Activities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index on Friday bowed to profit taking halting the six-day price rally with the All-Share Index dropping by 0.33 per cent.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the index lost 142.64 points or 0.33 per cent to close at 42,898.90 compared with 43,041.54 achieved on Thursday.

NAN reports that the market indices had remained upbeat since January following renewed investors confidence.

An analysis of the price movement table indicated that International Breweries recorded the highest price loss to lead the losers’ table, dropping by N2 to close at N60 per share.

Zenith Bank trailed with a loss of N1.75 to close at N31.26, while Flour Mills Nigeria was down by N1.65 to close at N31.35 per share.

Nigerian Breweries shed N1.63 to close at N151.05, while Julius Berger declined by N1.18 to close at N28.22 per share.

Conversely, Nestle topped the gainers’ table with a gain of N39.54 to close at N1,490 per share.

Mobil Oil followed with a gain of N9 to close at N190, while Guinness improved by N3.78 to close at N108.99 per share.

Lafarge Africa increased by N2.30 to close at N56.90, while Stanbic IBTC gained N2.14 to close at N44.94 per share.

A breakdown of the activity chart showed that Transcorp maintained leadership as the most traded, accounting for 222.90 million shares worth N500.12.

Diamond Bank followed with a turnover of 153.46 million shares valued at N418.32 million, while FBN Holdings traded 133.41 million shares worth N1.58 billion.

FCMB Group sold 112.24 million shares valued at N300.11 million, while Fidelity Bank traded 85.92 million shares worth N269.30 million.

In all, investors staked N15.37 billion on 1. 39 billion shares transacted in 11,385 deals compared with 1.62 billion shares worth N17.38 billion in 8,968 deals.

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