By Prince Osuagwu (Hi-Tech Editor) & Juliet Umeh
MTN Nigeria Wednesday activated plans of fortifying its network and services with the signing of a seven-year Medium term loan facility worth N200bn, with a consortium of twelve Nigerian banks.
The facility is structured with a two-year moratorium and a repayment plan of five years and is denominated in Naira.
The banks that provided the loan are: Citibank Nigeria, Diamond Bank, Ecobank, Fidelity Bank Plc, First Bank Plc.
Others include: FCMB, FSDH Merchant Bank, Rand Merchant Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic IBTC, UBA and Union Bank.
The loan will ultimately help MTN to provide optimum services and products for its over 55 million customers.
It is also expected to enable MTN to fund it’s capital expenditure, working capital and other evolving business opportunities.
The agreement was formally signed at the law office of Aluko & Oyebode in Ikoyi, Lagos.
Speaking at the signing, Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, Ferdi Moolman, said completion of the agreement signposts confidence in MTN’s commitment to Nigeria and the strength of the strategic collaboration between MTN Nigeria and local financial institutions in deepening the provision of ICT services in Nigeria.
He said: “The signing of this loan facility is a major landmark in our expansion programme in which we are making significant investments.
“The facility will enable us evolve the network to deliver convergent and superior quality, drive voice capacity expansion and data service penetration, maintain optimal capital structure and funding level that support growth and expansion”.
He lauded the participating financial institutions for staying committed to MTN, adding that the loan has proven the strength of the Nigerian financial institutions and their confidence in MTN’s visions, as well as both parties’ joint ability to stimulate significant economic growth.
Meanwhile, Chairman, MTN Nigeria, Pascal Dozie appreciated the banks for confidence in MTN, despite pressures they (the banks) face in terms of credit.
Dozie who was represented by Akin Oyebode, stated that MTN couldn’t have easily managed operations the way it had for the past 17 years of operating in Nigeria, but for the support of the banks.