Vodafone has expressed an interest in acquiring a stake in beleagured state-owned fixed and mobile operator, Nigeria Telecommunications (NITEL).
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) reports that the total number of active telephony subscribers in the country reached 49.6 million at the end of June 2008, up from 42.9 million in January. The figure makes Nigeria the largest country by subscribers in Africa, ahead of South Africa.
For sometime now, the future of the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited has appeared bleak. In fact, some NITEL insiders had insisted that except something was done urgently, the company would experience total system collapse.
At a meeting with Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan last week, a Vodafone delegation, led by Mr. Paul Donovad, announced its interest in acquiring a 51 per cent stake in NITEL, which has been put up for sale by the Federal Government and current majority stakeholder, Transnational Corporation.
The Vodafone Group said it had a strong desire to enter the Nigerian telecom industry, which had been acclaimed to be one of the most profitable in the world as well as the fastest growing.
Amazing! This is a company that initially thought that anybody would be crazy to go and invest in a rubbish country like Nigeria in 2000/2001. How things have changed.
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