Nitel 'guided liquidation' too late
GOVERNMENT| March 6, 2012, 9:45 a.m.
By Lukas Ajanaku, Lagos, Nigeria
The Federal Government of Nigeria's decision to toe the line of 'guided liquidation' of former state-run but now moribund telco, Nigeria Telecommunication Limited or Nitel and its mobile, arm, Mtel, has been described as wise decision that is coming a little too late.
Efforts by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the body charged with taking the government's interest in Nitel to the hammer have repeatedly ended in failure, making it appear that Nitel has been jinxed.
Reacting to the latest move by the government, telecoms operators in the country acting under the aegis of the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), say that if guided liquidation will ensure that Nitel would be rested while efforts would be made to recoup whatever could from the firm, it is a welcome development.
Engr. Titi Omo-Ettu, president of ATCON, explained that the only advice he has for the people charged with implementing the guided liquidation is that they should remember that the moribund telco still has the licence of first national operator.
He says: “If by ‘guided liquidation’ [the government means] a process of resting the corporate name called NITEL and doing our best to recoup whatever we can from the whole project called NITEL, I think there is really no other choice than to do just that, except that it is coming three years late. It may then mean that my position in 2009 synchs with what has now been announced as reported in newspapers.
“The only contribution I have now is to advise whoever is implementing the guided liquidation that the company they are liquidating is still in custody of our First National Operator’s License. And that fact should guide them in guiding the liquidation,” Omo-Ettu said in a statement in Lagos, Nigeria's commercial hub.
According to the ATCON chief, media questions directed at him after the government’s decision had all taken the same tack: “What do you think of this?”
He says: “Honestly, I do not know because it seems to me that ‘guided liquidation’ or any liquidation at all, is a technical matter and I am not versed in the subject so I do not want to let that vocabulary stow into my thought process.
“I have since 2009 switched off all thoughts about Nitel when I considered that the final end had come came for the company. I went into the exercise of valuating the license that Nitel was holding and came up with a figure which hovered around USD2.2 billion. I did not keep it to myself. I called a press conference and explained the explainable part of the valuation and how it would guide us in knowing what the country stood to gain, or lose, if such estimation was required to guide a decision.”
“Since then I switched off in spite of the fact that newspaper journalists would not allow me to take my mind off the subject. Understandably so.”
MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS
Microsoft, Johannesburg to train a million on digital literacyJohannesburg, South Africa, has become the first African city to close a workforce development deal of to train a million disadvantaged residents on digital literacy skills that include Microsoft Office. Read More
NITDA’s Taraba Smart City project receives global recognitionThe Jalingo City’s Smart IDP Tracking and Monitoring project, designed and implemented under the NITDA Nigeria Smart City Initiative, has won global recognition. Read More
NCA Chairman calls for strong ties between Africa’s telecom regulatorsThe Chairman of Ghana’s National Communications Authority, Eugene Baffoe Bonnie, has emphasised the need for regulatory bodies in the African telecommunications industry to close ranks to ensure a stronger collaborations. Read More
Cybercrooks steal N127b annually in Nigeria, says ComTech ministerNigeria’s ComTech Minister, Barr Adebayo Shittu, has lamented that Nigeria loses N127 billion annually to cyber thieves, warning that if it is not addressed, it posed a great deal of threat to the national economy. Read More
Nigeria's ComTech minister restates need for ICT UniversityNigeria’s Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has restated the need for the establishment of an ICT University in Nigeria, the first of its kind in Africa. Read More
Nigeria tax chief to go after telcos, othersThe Executive Chairman of Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Tunde Fowler, has said the focus of the service this quarter, was to recoup taxes owed by telecoms firms, airlines, and deposit money banks (DMBs). Read More
NCA to mark 20th anniversary with Symposium on RegulationsGhana’s National Communications Authority is set to hold a two day symposium in Accra as part of events to mark its 20th anniversary as a regulator. Read More
NCC pays N1.4 tr into Federation Account, says DambattaThe Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has paid over N1.4 trillion to the Federation Account, the CEO of the regulatory body, Prof Garba Dambatta has said. Read More
NCC pays N70b to Nigeria GovtThe Nigerian Communications Commission says it has remitted N70 billon to the Federation Account in the last one year of Prof Umar Danbatta’s appointment as executive vice chairman and CEO. Read More
GCAA move to register drone operations in GhanaThe Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, the body in charge of running the country’s aviation industry, has embarked on an exercise to register remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), popularly referred to as drones with effect from September this year. Read More
FEATURED STORYFirst-ever Africa Barclays Accelerator programme concludes
Ten fintech companies have concluded the first-ever Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars in Africa.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHEthical Hacking students can’t get a heck of a job
Botswana ethical hacking students report that they are failing to break into the local job market.