While remaining resolutely focused on rewarding our loyal customers and
attracting new ones with the best telecom services in Nigeria, Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Ltd. trading as 9mobile, deems it necessary to respond to the myriad of false, misleading, and malicious media reports currently in circulation.
In the aftermath of the protracted mismanagement of an otherwise healthy
company, and eventual default on its loans by the previous owners, 9mobile was acquired by Teleology Nigeria Limited, following an internationally competitive and exhaustive bidding process led by Barclays Africa, with participation of the
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and
thirteen Nigerian banks including GT Bank, Zenith Bank, Access Bank and others.
This process, which was well covered by the Nigerian media, was concluded with
the initial deposit of $50 million and a further payment of $251 million as
settlement to the banks who took over the company. These payments as well as
further due diligence and technical evaluations led to the clearance of the sale by the NCC, and handover of 9mobile to the new owners, who announced a Board on 12 November 2018 with His Royal Highness Prince Nasiru Ado Bayero, as the new Chairman.
Teleology Nigeria Limited is a consortium including several local and foreign investors. While every partner in the consortium was delivering and meeting their
obligations to the partnership in terms of financial resources, physical availability
for crucial meetings and extensive network to help build the business, Mr. Adrian
Wood’s Teleology Holdings Limited, which only owned a minority stake in
Teleology Nigeria Limited, failed severally and wholly to meet theirs. Mr. Wood
was not personally present for all the critical presentations made by the
consortium during the bid process and failed abjectly with his financing
arrangements with Swiss-based UBS Bank. In all these failings, other partners in
the consortium filled the gap and pushed ahead until the sale was completed.
Since taking over the company, and without any assistance from Mr. Wood or
Teleology Holdings, the Board has revived and enhanced relationships with key
vendors and core business accounts; improved business relationships with
suppliers; enhanced its core network capabilities to deliver network efficiency
competitively with other operators. With the assistance of leading global
consultants, the company is also undertaking a complete review of its
operational, regulatory, financial and technical architecture. On these basis,
9mobile has emerged from a period of uncertainty over the past two years to
attain an active subscriber base of 16 million, representing a net increase of over
1 million subscribers in the last 6 weeks alone.
The company’s core strategy in the short to medium term shall be underpinned
by cost efficiency, innovative product development, network efficiency and
strategic technical partnerships. We believe that this approach towards organic
growth is more sustainable in building a strong Nigerian telecom operator, which
taps into the deep technical expertise of the Nigerian labour force than an
approach motivated by short-term financial gain advocated by Mr. Wood and his
It is regrettable that Mr. Wood has allowed the same avarice, rascality,
impatience and knavery that characterised his turbulent association with, and
inglorious exits from several other companies to manifest again so early in
9mobile. While we wish him well in his future endeavors, we unequivocally
assure our customers, suppliers, partners, regulators, and stakeholders that the
Board is committed to continuing the upward mobility of 9mobile. Having
invested so heavily in buying the company, and assembling a reliable team to pursue our goals, we want to categorically state that no distractions can stop us
from this mission.
Director, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs
For 9Mobile Board of Directors