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Court Judgement: Confusion over Future of 9mobile

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Spectrum Wireless Communications’ lawyers have warned all institutions or companies engaged in commercial transactions for the sale or acquisition of 9mobile that they did so at their own risk.

 

The solicitors to the firm, J. A. Achimugu and Co. and Dr.  Reuben Atabo and Co., said by virtue of the judgement it received on Friday, the transition board appointed to oversee the sale of the company had been nullified and the order appointing the board vacated.

 

Spectrum Wireless is also demanding a refund of its initial investment of $35m in Etisalat Nigeria.

 

“My client wants his money back,” one of the solicitors, Atabo said while speaking with journalists at a press briefing in Lagos on Sunday.

 

Atabo claimed that the $1.2bn loan secured by Etisalat was shrouded in secrecy as Spectrum Wireless was not aware of it.

 

He said findings showed that about $100m investment from Spectrum Wireless and three other non-bank investors was used to build infrastructure that some directors in the company used as collateral for the $1.2bn loan.

 

Atabo stated, “Our client and three other investors put in about $100m as of 2009. The $100m was used in providing infrastructure for the company. It was this infrastructure that gave EMTS the opportunity to go to the banks to obtain the loan of $1.2bn. Is it proper for United Capital not to recognise the original investor when they got the loan?

 

“We have written series of letters to the Nigerian Communications Commission as the regulating body conveying to them our investment and the need for them to come to our aid. They always tell us they are investigating for the past five to six years.

 

“Assuming they go ahead with the sale, we will not be recognised at all. It is better the issue is sorted out before the sale is completed.”

 

Following the inability to the resolve a loan of about $1.2bn obtained from a consortium of 13 Nigerian banks under the auspices of United Capital Trustees Limited, the Etisalat Group of United Arab Emirates withdrew its 45 per cent stake in the company.

 

As a result of the pulling out its business and brand name from Nigeria, a change of name from Etisalat to 9mobile was effected.

 

However, through the intervention of the NCC and the CBN, the takeover of the company by the consortium of banks was prevented and a board was put in place to see to the sale of the company.

 

Companies that have been reportedly shortlisted for the acquisition of 9mobile after submitting their expressions of interest to Barclays Bank include Bharti Airtel, Smile Telecoms Holdings, Helios Investment Partners LLP and Teleology Holdings Limited and Globacom.

 

The Federal High Court in Lagos had on Friday nullified the appointment of an interim board for 9mobile, the company that came out of Etisalat Nigeria following the pull-out of its major shareholder, Emerging Markets Telecommunications Service, from Nigeria.

 

Justice Ibrahim Buba made the order based on an application by Spectrum Wireless Communication Limited.

 

The court order nullified the appointment of Dr. Joseph Nnana of the Central Bank of Nigeria as the chairman of the 9mobile; Mr. Boye Olusanya, as managing director; and Mrs. Funke Ighodaro, as chief financial officer.

 

Other members of the board affected by the order are Mr. Seyi Bickersthet and Mr. Ken Igbokwe.

 

The judge made the order after dismissing a preliminary objection filed by United Capital Trustees Limited in response to the application by Spectrum Wireless, a shareholder of EMTS.

 

The interim board of 9mobile, which was constituted by the CBN and the Nigerian Communications Commission, had received bids from about five bidders for the sale of the company.

 

The sale was to be concluded by December 31, 2017 but it was recently moved to January 16.

 

Following the exit of Etisalat and its directors in June 2017 from EMTS, United Capital initiated an action in court and obtained an ex parte order on July 3, 2017 to appoint a transitional board to superintend over the affairs of the company.

 

The transitional board rebranded the company as 9mobile and announced a bid for its sale to interested investors.


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NDPR to Safeguard Personal Data of Nigerians -DG NITDA

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Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has disclosed that the motive behind the issuance of Nigerian Data Protection Regulations, (NDPR) by the Agency was to safeguard the right of natural persons to data privacy, fostering safe conduct for transactions involving the exchange of personal data, enablement of Nigerian businesses to be globally compliant and competitive and to create jobs for Nigerians.

 

Mallam Abdullahi revealed this Friday while delivering the keynote address  at the 6th annual conference of Institute Internal Auditors of Nigeria, (IIAN) with the theme:, “Agility and Resilience” which was held on zoom conference platform.

 

The Conference aimed at preparing participants across Internal Audits, Internal Controls, risk management, revenue and Government assurance and other business professionals to learn how to leverage on new technologies and procedures towards actualisation of the organisation’s goals and objectives.

 

The NITDA DG who was represented Director e-Government Development and Regulations, Dr Vincent Olatunji stated that since inception of the Agency in 2001, it has been playing a catalytic roles to spur the infusion of technology into nation’s work processes reiterating that the Agency plays “critical roles in capacity development, provision of working tools for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

 

“NITDA also has an existing arrangement with the office of the Auditor General of the Federation to aid the office in the discharge of its activities.”

 

Mallam Abdullahi said, “The Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) was issued on 25th January, 2020 by my predecessor, DrIsa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.

 

“As part of his think-tank then, our thinking was that Nigeria needed to quickly provide a regulatory framework for the processing of personal data.

 

“This was even more pertinent in consideration of the global implications of non-performance.

 

“Businesses where losing bids because investors felt there was no data privacy regime in Nigeria.

 

“The Agency’s implementation of the NDPR has been innovative and impact oriented. For the first time in data protection implementation, auditors became recognised as Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCO)”.

 

He maintained that NITDA has 72 licensed DPCOs among which are members of this “august body,” adding that “this posture is not as a result of lack of professionals in the IT industry, rather, we have made conscious efforts to carry every relevant stakeholder along in our developmental regulatory strategy.

 

“ I hope this noble institute would repay NITDA’s generosity by imbibing ethical and professional principles on your members for better implementation of the Regulation.”

 

Earlier in his remarks, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, New Capital Cooperatives Society Mr. Benedict Anyalenka while commending the organisers of the conference affirmed that data privacy and protection should be a requisite skill needed for development of the Information Technology Sector as it would create platform for protection of information against unauthorized usage.

 

Anyalenka, however, called for proper awareness on the importance of data privacy among organisations and stakeholders across the country to safeguard citizens’ data.


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FG Reveals Plans to Deploy Technology in the Health Sector

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As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government of Nigeria has announced plans to deploy information and communications technology (ICT) in the country’s health sector.

This is part of the plans to achieve transparency and accountability in health care delivery across the country.

Dr. Ngozi R. C. Azodoh, director, Special Projects, Federal Ministry of Health, who represented Osagie Emmanuel Ehanire, Honourable Minister of Health, revealed this while speaking at MTN Nigeria’s Revv Programme masterclass on Thursday, September 17, 2020 .

The virtual session themed ‘Bridging the healthcare divide through technology and partnerships’ had in attendance health sector experts including Chief Executive Officer, Hygeia HMO Limited, Obinnia Abajue; Chief Operations Officer and Co-Founder, Afya Care, Kola Oni; Managing Director, Ingress Health Partners, Dr. Orode Doherty and Chief Executive Officer, Tremendoc Limited, Ugochukwu Chikezie. The session was moderated by the General Manager, Business Development, MTN Nigeria, Omotayo Ojulatayo.

According to Azodoh, the federal government has put structures in place to utilise ICT as part of efforts to standardise the healthcare system.

“The government is working hand in hand with state governments across the country to maintain transparency and accountability, adding that ICT and other forms of electronic platforms are currently being improved and expanded following the federal government’s COVID intervention”.

She also shared that the ministry is willing to support small businesses in the sector imploring the participating SMEs to seize the opportunities provided by The Revv Programme.

“I want to ask everyone who is listening to write to the MTN Revv team and say this is one thing I want the Federal Ministry of Health to do to help my business then we can engage on how to proceed,” she enthused.

In her parting remarks, she also commended MTN Nigeria for providing a platform for SMEs to expand their capacity. “I must commend MTN for this excellent initiative. It has been very productive for me and an opportunity to transfer knowledge.”

The Revv Programme is an initiative from MTN Nigeria to help small businesses rethink and retool their operations in order to withstand the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic using a four-pronged approach that includes masterclasses, access to market, productivity tools support and advisory initiatives.


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Peace House Charity Foundation Seeks for DCTC Intervention

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Mallam Kashifu InuwaAbdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), asserted that if we do not empower our people, they become a problem to the society in future.

 

He made this know on Friday while receiving a delegation from Peace House Charity Foundation,Yola who were at the Agency’s Corporate Headquarter, Abuja to seek for interventions in the areas of ICT.

 

The representative of the Director General, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, Director eGovernment Development and Regulation stated that one of the mandate of the Agency is the deployment of ICT infrastructure as such the Foundation’s visit at this time is very apt as the Agency is relentlessly working on the implementation of the Digital Economy strategy.

 

MallamAbdullahi affirmed that Agency at the moment is looking for organisations to partner with to sustain Digital Capacity Training Centres deployed across the country.

 

He commended the effort of the organisation in assisting orphans with not only providing basic education but also the provision of skills, mentorship and moral upbringing.

 

Speaking earlier, Mr Mohammad Bello, a Director with the Foundation said that the organisation was at the Agency to seek for ICT intervention and to commend NITDA’s effort in promoting ICT knowledge across the nation.

 

He stated that the organisation supports education for the orphans and the less privileged,  promote health care delivery especially among women and children, provide sensitisation workshop for parents (mothers) on parenting and matrimonial home, promote unity and encourage self-reliance among the populace.

 

 

 

 

 


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