It has been revealed that Olabiyi Durojaiye, the Chairman of the board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), in order to force the sale of 9mobile to Smile Telecoms Holdings, has changed the rules.
It was noted that 9mobile was approved for sale to Teleology Holdings Ltd, whose bid was preferred to that of Smile Telecoms, and has made a non-refundable deposit of $50 million.
However, Durojaiye, has written a letter, dated March 14, to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) listing new criteria of “technical expertise” and “at least three years operational history” days after the sale was approved and processes concluded.
Curiously, Durojaye had never written on behalf of NCC since the transaction started in 2017, and does not have executive powers to stop the transaction.
Teleology is the only company on the final shortlist that is a special purpose vehicle (SPV) and does not meet the new criteria by Durojaye.
The other finalists — Smile, Helios, Globacom and Airtel — meet Durojaiye’s new criterion of “operational experience”.
However, Airtel pulled out of the final leg in the bid process, while Globacom and Helios did not name any price.
This leaves Smile as the last man standing if Teleology is knocked out based on the new criteria.