Subscribers of the embattled telecommunications firm, 9Mobile are not happy with happenings around the company and have called for an amicable resolution of the matter. News broke out last week about Teleology Holdings, the preferred bidder, pulling out of 9Mobile deals following some internal wranglings. There had been accusations and counter accusations from both Teleology Holdings and the local arm on the way and manner the firm should run.
But subscribers and industry experts, who spoke with The Guardian, want the matter resolved as fast as possible. The Guardian checks showed that 9Mobile, which currently controls about 9.10 per cent market share, services 15.3 million subscribers, had since the issue brewed up in 2017 lost close to five million subscribers. A subscriber, who gave his name as Barrister Chukwu Kingsley, in an interview with The Guardian, said the earlier the issue is resolved the better for the company and its subscribers. “I have been following the firm since the problem started early 2017, with the pull out of Etisalat and I think they have lost millions of subscribers. They have started again! The matter should be resolved amicably, if not, more subscribers would leave the network.”
Coming from the perspective of poor services, Shola Adekoya urged parties at logger heads to sheath their swords and resolve whatever the issue may be as fast as possible. “This problem is long overdue; the matter of 9Mobile should be resolved once and for all for the betterment of the company. The good quality of service we know Etisalat with is no more there, customer service has become an issue, they have lost and they are still losing customers. I think something should be done very fast.”
The President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers of Nigeria (NATCOMS), Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, urged the parties to consider the subscribers and investments that may be affected if the firm should go down. Ogunbanjo said having scaled through the hurdles of Etisalat, the coming in of Teleology should drive the company forward, “though and normal, change doesn’t come easy, but parties involved in this matter should resolve issues amicably.” He appealed to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), to step into the matter and help resolve the issue.
Speaking on the matter, the President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON),, Olusola Teniola, noted that the most likely scenario is for 9Mobile to review and rearrange a partnership with a technical partner if it will fulfill its ability to execute on the chosen strategy, “otherwise, they need to seek expert hands that have already been tried and tested in the industry that can act as the global face/interface to other stakeholders that will complete the business management piece. The highest priority and focus for the board and local manacement team is securing sufficient capital to fund the stability, growth and competitiveness of the business.
“Frankly, government, through the NCC, and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), have done all they can do by facilitating a successful sale of EMTS operating as 9Mobile to the new owners, Teleology. It is really up to Teleology to make this a success. Government has performed in this context.” In line with what Teniola said, his counterpact at the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, also believed that the regulators had done enough to keep the company from imminent collapse, “I won’t solicit for the intervention of NCC or CBN now. I think that time has gone; they have done their part, atleast saving the firm from collapse. It is now time for the industry as a whole to join hands together to move the firm forward.”