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Etisalat Nigeria mutates to 9Mobile

Etisalat Nigeria has rebranded to 9Mobile as the company seeks to parting ties from the Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat Group and map a new course following a loan dispute with Nigerian banks.

Top executives of Etisalat Nigeria agreed the name change after a management meeting in Lagos on Thursday, July 13.

On Monday, July 10, Etisalat Group terminated its management and technical contracts with Etisalat Nigeria after the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Communications Commission intervened last week in a dispute between Etisalat Nigeria and a consortium of Nigerian banks over a $1.2 billion loan.

Etisalat Group had given its erstwhile Nigerian unit three weeks to reach a new technical services agreement, covering the use of the Etisalat brand, after all UAE shareholders – including Mubadala – pulled out of the Nigerian telecoms firm and left its board and management.

Etisalat Nigeria is the fourth largest mobile operator in Nigeria, with 18.5 million subscribers and a 12.76 percent market share. MTN Nigeria has 54.92 million subscribers (37.89 percent); Globacom has 37.37 million subscribers (25.78 percent); and Airtel has 34.16 million subscribers (23.57 percent).