AFC approves $230m loan for 9mobile

Management of Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Limited (EMTS), trading as 9mobile, has announced the approval of a $23 million loan by the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC).

The company said in a statement on Sunday that it will use the money to honour existing debts, finance its costs and invest in growth.


AFC announced approval of the loan on Friday, August 23 convinced by the initiatives so far taken by the Nasiru Ado Bayero-led board and management headed by acting managing director, Stephane Beuvelet, to return the company to the path of growth and profitability through cost efficiency, innovative product development and network efficiency.

In a letter addressed to both Bayero and Beuvelet, the financial institution said, “Africa Finance Corporation is pleased to inform Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services that it has received full Board approval to support the turnaround strategy of EMTS through a US$230 million super senior debt investment.”


Commenting on the approval, Ado Bayero, expressed happiness that EMTS’ effort to recover previously ceded ground through an innovative growth plan is being supported by a prestigious Pan-African financial institution as the AFC.

“We can only express gratitude to the AFC for approving this loan facility that would not only help our business sustainability but also grow it to serve our teeming and loyal customers in Nigeria better. We have completely reviewed our operational, regulatory, financial and technical architecture to ensure we deliver quality services and this facility would go a long way in giving best in class services to Nigerians,” he said.


Also commenting on the transaction, 9mobile’s chief financial officer, Phillips Oki, said, “the success of this transaction by way of the approval of the Board of Africa Finance Corporation is a sound affirmation of our belief that the fundamentals of the 9mobile business are indeed strong. It is also an attestation to the fact that the operational restructuring and financial reengineering we have done since we assumed ownership have launched 9mobile on the path of growth and profitability. With this facility, our subscribers, staff and vendors should get ready to switch on to better days with 9mobile. We will reclaim every lost ground in the market in the coming months.”

Formerly called Etisalat Nigeria, 9mobile is Nigeria’s fourth-biggest telecoms operator behind MTN, Airtel and Globacom.

It was formerly operated by Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat until the local company defaulted on its debt, forcing lenders to step in to find new investors.

A new board led by Ado Bayero took over in November 2018 following a successful acquisition by Teleology Nigeria Limited.