Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Ltd. (EMTS) has assured its customers that the change of brand name will not affect its operations.
Ibrahim Dikko, the Vice President, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, EMTS made this known in a statement.
Dikko said that EMTS was aware of recent news reports regarding Etisalat Group’s withdrawal of the right to the continued use of the Etisalat brand in Nigeria by EMTS.
He said that EMTS had a valid and subsisting agreement with the Etisalat Group.
Monday, the telecoms giant Etisalat International said it was withdrawing from Nigeria, its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Hatem Dowidar said .
This is not unconnected with its indebtedness to banks running into billion of naira.
The firm said it has terminated its management agreement with its Nigerian subsidiary.
However, according to Dikko on Tuesday, the agreement entitles EMTS to use the Etisalat brand notwithstanding the recent changes within the company.
“Indeed, discussions are ongoing between EMTS and Etisalat Group pertaining to the continued use of the brand.
“EMTS will issue a formal statement once discussions are concluded.
“The final outcome on the use of the brand in no way affects the operations of the business as our full range of services remain available to our customers,’’ he said.
Dikko said that EMTS launched in Nigeria in 2008 with “0809ja’’ to affirm the “Nigerianness’’ of its origin and sphere of influence.
He said that in nine years of operation, the company remained a prime driver and avid supporter of the Nigerian spirit of excellence.
According to him, the telecommunications company will continue to stay true to its “Naijacentric identity’’.
“This notion is strongly reflected in our core messages and depicted in major projects and initiatives, which we have been known to support.
“All these initiatives have their foundation embedded in supporting key aspects of the Nigerian fabric: building Nigerian businesses and empowering Nigerians with a focus on the youth.
“Nigeria remains the soul of EMTS’ business and we have made the brand alluring to our teeming subscribers, who see a piece of the spirit and character of Nigeria in everything we do.
“EMTS is here to stay and we wish to assure our esteemed customers that our core values of youthfulness, customer-centricity and innovation will remain the pillars on which we operate.
“We thank our esteemed customers for their abiding faith in us,’’ Dikko said.
Last week, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervened to save Etisalat Nigeria from collapse after talks with its bankers to renegotiate a $1.2 billion loan failed.
Etisalat, with a 45 percent stake in the Nigerian business, said last month that it had been ordered to transfer its shares to a loan trustee after the failed talks.
It was gathered that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) shareholders of Etisalat Nigeria, including state-owned investment fund Mubadala, had left the company.
Etisalat Nigeria is the biggest foreign-owned victim of the foreign exchange (forex) caused by lower oil prices and recession.
The telco took a $1.2 billion loan with 13 local lenders in 2013 to refinance an existing loan and fund expansion, but struggling to repay four years later.