Nigeria’s Senate is set to launch an investigation into the default on a USD1.2 billion loan by Etisalat Nigeria and how the funds were used, reports Reuters. The cellco, which was renamed 9mobile in July, took out a syndicated loan from 13 Nigerian banks in 2013, but failed to make repayments earlier this year. Etisalat Group of the United Arab Emirates handed over its 45% stake to United Capital Trustees, the security trustee of the firm’s lenders, and terminated its existing management and technical support agreements with the country’s fourth largest mobile operator by subscribers.
The vote mandates the Senate Committee on Banking, Communications, Capital Market and National Security and Intelligence to investigate the management and utilisation of the loan, which will then pass any findings on to regulators, including the financial crimes agency. ‘The Senate is aware of allegations that the loans had been diverted to other uses not related to the business for which the huge loan was obtained, as there was no evidence of what the company did with the loans,’ noted a document posted on the Senate’s social media.