ALTON, the Association of Telecom Operators of Nigeria, Gbenga Adebayo has advised the Nigerian government to sell Nigeria Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) to avoid a total collapse of the national carrier.
The fate of NITEL lies with the government, explains Adebayo.
Adebayo says the government is playing politics with the future of NITEL, stressing that if government decides to sell NITEL, it should be for keeping the business in operation and not for making a profit.
In the past 10 years, the Nigerian government has made repeated failed attempts to privatise NITEL.
“The government wants to make money from the sale of the telecommunications firm and this has continued to drag the fortunes of the company behind,” says Adebayo.
Currently the bid price for NITEL is extremely high. The company is also too large for one telecoms player to purchase it.
“If liquidating it would make the price of sale of the telecommunications firm more attractive to buyers that might be a way to go, but if liquidating it is to destroy and dismantle it completely, that is not advisable,” says Adebayo.
Adebayo believes it should be the government’s priority to bailout ailing telecommunications companies in the country.
“The reality is that the size of the telecoms operators in the country is getting smaller and smaller. ALTON, three years ago, had more service providers than it has now,” says Adebayo.
By: Bimbo Omitooki – Senior ICT Journalist