New deadline for NITEL sale

Prospective bidders for Nigerian Telecommunication (NITEL) and its mobile unit M-Tel have now time until 22nd January next year to submit their proposals, as decided last week by the Nigerian government, reports local newspaper The Guardian.

Furthermore, USD 19,8 million have been granted by The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) to be paid from NITEL’s pension fund towards employees’ salaries and outstanding rent for the offices.
NITEL’s future ownership is disputed among 14 companies who have reportedly expressed interest, including Etisalat Nigeria, MTNL of India, Globacom, MTN Nigeria, Telefonica of Spain and MetroPCS Communications.

Earlier this year, the Nigerian federal government announced it was offering a 51% stake in NITEL and 100% of its mobile unit after previous majority shareholder, Transcorp, decided to step back. The initial deadline was due 2nd October and was extended to 26th, only to be pushed back to January because of the complexity of the process.