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Nigerian group plans to acquire NITEL

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The Nigerian Telecommunications Limited headquarters

Nigerian Capital Development Fund (NCDF), is putting the finishing touches to its plan to acquire the country’s fixed line operator- Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL).

NCDF believes that NITEL remains one of the best networks in the country.

Alhaji Tajudeen Abdulkareem, Microfone Telecoms Nigeria Limited Executive Director, says although many attempts have been made by the Federal Government to divest from NITEL, there is need for President Goodluck Jonathan to take radical decisions to sell the national carrier to those who can turn its fortunes around in the interest of the general public.

“Our main intention is to provide telecommunication services – voice telephony and data transmission – to the very poor, for hardworking Nigerians in the remotest parts of the country.

NITEL future prospects

Abdulkareem says in order to reposition the troubled telecommunications company, they had registered a company called Microfone Telecom Nigeria Limited and had submitted an expression of interest to the Federal Government through the Bureau of Public Enterprises in Abuja.

The Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) recently terminated the privatisation of NITEL and its subsidiary Mtel, which it began in 2009 because of the inability of Omen International Consortium, the reserve bidder, to revalidate its bid bond of $150 million before the agreed deadline.

The Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, however, urged government to unbundle NITEL to ensure smooth privatisation.

Adebayo believes the government was playing politics with the future of NITEL, stressing that if government decided to sell NITEL, it should be sold for the objective of keeping it alive, not for financial returns.

“As an industry player, my position would be that government would need to divide NITEL into smaller entities, then it will be more attractive to intending buyers and operators, who are also interested in certain areas of NITEL,” says Adebayo.

Bimbo Omitooki


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