Nigeria concerned as Nitel debt soars

Nigeria is revisiting the issue of privatizing Nitel with new urgency as the national carrier’s debt soars to N250 billion.

The Nigerian government has long sought a buyer for Nitel, with several offers having been put on the table in the past year, but prospective buyers failing to come up with the large deposits required.

Faced with the option of liquidating the company, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan last year adopted a “willing buyer, willing seller” approach to Nitel, Nigeria’s ailing state-owned telco.

However, concerns are being raised about the telco’s rising indebtedness and the willingness of any investor to tackle this debt.

This week, Vice President Namadi Sambo said the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) was willing to partner with the National Assembly to expedite the privatisation of the carrier.

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