Glo Benin must settle arrears, meet other commitments to renew licence

29 September 2017

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

The government of the Republic of Benin issued a decision on 20 September rejecting the proposed terms of Nigerian-owned cellco Globacom Benin (Glo Mobile) to renew its operating licence. Glo’s licence officially expired on 19 August, and the government had previously set prerequisite renewal conditions including payment of all of Glo’s arrears (frequency usage fees and others, totalling nearly XOF13 billion [USD23.6 million]), whilst Glo had pledged to make certain investments, seeking various exemptions in return.

However, the Council of Ministers – having consulted with the Minister of Digital Economy & Communication, the Minister of Economy & Finance and the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications & Postal Services (ARCEP) – found Glo’s proposal unacceptable, and the cellco must now revise its plans, with a follow-up assessment to focus on the modalities of arrears payments.

If Glo still fails to meet the state’s requirements, it risks the same fate as defunct operator Bell Benin Communications (BBCom), which had its telecoms licence revoked on 2 August.

Source: Agence Ecofin