Etisalat Nigeria rebrands in a bid to put money woes behind it

Etisalat Nigeria has attempted to put its financial woes firmly in the past, rebranding its mobile proposition to 9mobile.

It has been a couple of months to forget for Nigeria’s fourth largest mobile player, as the country’s central bank stepped in to sort out the mess which was seemingly escalating, but that will be banished to the history books as execs try to reinvent the brand. It might well be the case, but there is a risk of jumping the gun here.

“Although our trading name has changed, we remain true to the same values on which our company was built,” Boye Olusanya said in a statement (courtesy of AllAfrica).

And while it reassuring the provider will remain true to its heritage, we hope this isn’t the case as to how they manage their cash.

“Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Limited (EMTS), which previously traded as ‘Etisalat Nigeria’ wishes to inform its over 20 million subscribers, government, regulatory agencies and all relevant stakeholder groups that the telecommunication company has changed its name to 9mobile as a further testament of our unwavering commitment to ensuring business continuity as Nigeria’s fourth largest telecom operator,” said Olusanya.

What does remain to be seen is whether the Nigerian tax payer will have to stump up the bill for the saga. As it stands, the central bank hasn’t pumped cash into the organization, but is overseeing the renegotiation of debt. Only time will tell whether this remains the case, though some people might have waited until the whole issue had been resolved prior to rebranding. There is a risk that the 9mobile brand could be dragged through the mud as well…

Rebrands are generally an interesting move if there is a genuine reason behind it. No-one remembers the past if the change is done for the right reasons, for example to target a new demographic or to enter a new market, but trying to force people to forget a pretty dark period of time can have a way of biting you. Etisalat Nigeria 9mobile can bury those skeletons deep, but they’ll emerge every now and then when someone fancies being a bit troublesome.


  1. Avatar ola 19/07/2017 @ 2:47 pm

    You might want to google the title below to know why they really had to re-brand. You have not been following events properly.

    “Etisalat quits Nigeria, gives three-week ultimatum for brand phase out”

  2. Avatar remi adeyeye 19/07/2017 @ 7:09 pm

    The article leaves me a little confused. I thought Etisalat conformed with the demands of the banks to transfer their shares to their consortium, thereby making the banks the new owner of 9Mobile. Why would the Central Bank need to inject money into the business? Why might Nigerian tax payers have to foot the bill? I thought the banks now own a majority of the shares of the company. I assumed they were part of the decision to change the brand name as demanded by Etisalat. Please help me understand what I am missing.

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