Delay, they say is not denial.

Nigeria’s fourth-biggest wireless carrier, 9mobile, formerly known as Etisalat Nigeria, has started repaying the debts it owed a consortium of banks following its acquisition by Teleology Holdings Limited.

“The money has been distributed to the banks,” head of investor relations at Lagos-based United Bank for Africa Plc, Abiola Rasaq, told Bloomberg on the phone.

According to him, the reimbursement is expected to improve the asset quality of the creditor banks that had classified the loan as non-performing.

UBA made a 15.2-billion-naira provision on the loan last year.

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9mobile repaid $251 million last week from the proceeds of the fund Teleology paid for the acquisition, according to two persons familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because they were not permitted to speak publicly on the issue.

More than 10 Nigerian banks syndicated the loan to Etisalat Nigeria, including Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc.

Some of the lenders made provisions on the loans or classified them as non-performing in 2017 and this year.

Each creditor bank was repaid a proportion of the outstanding debt, according to the sources.

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