Nigeria makes another attempt to sell Nitel
Nigeria’s National Council on Privatization (NCP) has formally appointed a liquidator to sell the assets held by the state owned landline network, Nitel and MTel, its mobile network subsidiary. The contract was awarded to Lagos based accountants, Olutola Senbore & Co, they have been given six months to handle the sale after attempts at privatizing it have repeatedly broken down.
It is expected that the mobile network which went bankrupt several years ago would be sold for its assets, while the landline network may be picked up by one of the mobile networks in order to boost their backhaul capacity. The sale is not expected to realize enough to pay off the state-owned firms’ debt, which is said to be around US$2.2 billion.
The two privatized companies will be sold on a debt-free basis, with creditors being expected to absorb most of the losses.
Some Nigerian politicians have opposed the sale of the Nigerian owned telecom company that Transcorp bought its 75% stake for $750 million in 2006 during an earlier privatization sale that was later reclaimed in 2009 following several years of neglect.