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9Mobile And The Resiliency Of The Nigerian Spirit: From Rock Bottom Near Collapse To Amazing Rebound

The Oasis Reporters

November 6, 2023








The Oasis Reporters feels proud to be breaking the news whispered into our ears from the UK about the silent assemblage of core investors who are homing in on Lagos for the purpose of pumping in so much foreign direct investment into the once upon a time struggling GSM network that was at the verge of collapse due to the pull-out of the Etisalat parent company based in Dubai a few years ago.

The situation was dire when Etisalat in Dubai came to Lagos to look into the books of Etisalat Nigeria.

Then, greedy Nigerian top shots in the organization had done what corruption would do to any network. So much money was missing, practically all the money was gone with the wind.

The once thriving network was badly indebted to banks and suppliers, thus crippling the network. There was virtually no money to do any work with.

A visibly enraged Etisalat Dubai as the parent company did one thing angrily: They cut their ties with Etisalat Nigeria and gave a terse order to the Nigerian arm.

‘You’ve got seven days to stop using our brand name, or we’ll sue’ !

So the stage was set for the collapse of the thriving network. Everyone was expecting the debt overburdened network to crash.

Luckily for the network, within it were some dedicated Nigerian staff who stayed back in the great resignations that swept the company and also understood the goodwill GSM users reserved for Etisalat.

The core team that believe in hardwork and discipline stepped forward and made proposals to the banks the company was heavily indebted to.


Seven days later, Etisalat Nigeria became 9mobile. This was in obedience to the strict order that was handed down.


Even though their spirits were low and their heads bowed, the remaining staff at the leadership level also laid their proposals before the banks and the NCC begging for time to resuscitate the company as well as make money in the long run to pay up all that was owed. Luckily, good nods went to their proposals. They gave them the chance.

Using what they had on ground, the Nigerian team pulled it off. They denied themselves the perks that would usually come to top telecoms workers. Then they worked extra hard, with less pay.

Less than five years down the line, the health of the network kept on improving. As the banks were getting their money back even with interests and the network continued to be top rated especially in data, red in the books started turning blue.

Telecoms watchers in London did not miss the vibes and the rhythm of the beat got to the ears of investors. They are currently getting ready to zip open their purse strings and let 9mobile breath the whiff of cash which will see the network expanding into every community in the country.

The paperwork is still being perfected. Soon it will be known that the story from Nigeria is about resiliency. Nigerian engineers and administrators do know about sacrifice, patience and qualitative growth. Ingredients that are needed to build a new nation. So instead of Nigerians selling all and fleeing abroad, the reverse will soon be the case because it’s people can make things work to reverse rot and turn it to growth.

The time is now.

Thank you, 9mobile staff who have worked hard for this Nigerian dream to be realizable that indeed, we can turn things around.

Greg Abolo

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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