Nitel 'guided liquidation' too late

GOVERNMENT

|
Image: Titi Omo-Ettu, president of ATCON. By BiztechAfrica
Titi Omo-Ettu, president of ATCON

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.”



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS

Senegal govt, AfDB to build US$120 million digital park

The Senegalese government and the African Development Bank (AfDB) will join forces to put aside about US$20 million and US$100 million, respectively, to build a mega-digital park in the city of Diamniadio. Read More

Govt confirms NATCOM’s $252m Nitel/Mtel purchase

The Federal Government of Nigeria has confirmed the sale of former state-run but now moribund telco, the Nigerian Telecommunication (Nitel) and its mobile arm, Mtel to NATCOM Consortium for $252 million. Read More

Angola takes science and technology roadshow to schools

Angola’s Minister of Science and Technology has hailed a programme carried out this year to increase school learners’ understanding of science, technology and innovation. Read More

Senegal to issue smart ID, voter’s cards

The government of Senegal is planning to issue new smart ID documents and voter’s cards, a project it said will strengthen the administration and fight identity theft. Read More

MTN, Orange, Cameroon govt launch Mobile Tax service

The Cameroonian government has launched a new tax service called Mobile Tax, in association with mobile operators MTN and Orange. Read More

BTCL IPO date reset again

The embattled BTCL IPO launch date has not seen the last of its changes yet.  Read More

Botswana tops Africa Prosperity Report

Botswana tops the 2014 Africa Prosperity Report, as the continent enjoys unprecedented economic upturn, but Africa faces new challenges in gender gap and personal freedom. Read More

Mali Digital Plan 2020 to reorganise economy

The coordinator of Mali’s proposed ICT development strategy believes digital technologies have the potential to revolutionise people’s lifestyle and working relationships, boost culture and improve education, among others. Read More

Nigeria lures broadband investors with incentives

Nigeria has highlighted opportunities and incentives for would-be investors, on the sidelines of ITU Telecom World. Read More

Senegal, World Bank launch mobile survey on living conditions

A household survey called A l’écoute du Sénégal ("Listening to Senegal") was launched late last week in this West African nation by the Senegalese government in association with the World Bank. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoice

FEATURED STORY

PWC: Optimism abounds but a bumpy journey ahead for somePWC: Optimism abounds but a bumpy journey ahead for some

PwC’s ‘Capital Projects & infrastructure in East Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa,’ report says infrastructure spend in the region is projected to reach $180bn per annum by 2025.

IN DEPTH

Africa lags on digital migration Africa lags on digital migration

Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.