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
NCC chief urges Fed Govt to relax forex policyThe Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, has urged the Federal Government to consider relaxing its forex policy for telecommunications companies. Read More
No deal with MTN on fine, says ComTech ministerNigeria’s Communications Technology Minister says no concrete deal has been sealed in respect of the fine imposed on MTN. Read More
CA rejects misleading reports on Essar saleThe Chairman of the Communications Authority of Kenya board of directors, Ngene Gituku, has refuted allegations of impropriety and unethical conduct around the sale of Essar Telecom Kenya Ltd. Read More
Smart Africa seeks One Africa NetworkICT Ministers and telecoms regulatory bodies meeting in Kigali have resolved to implement the new One Africa regional telecommunications framework initiative this year. Read More
Kenyan mobile operators fail on QoS targetsThe Communications Authority of Kenya says Kenya’s mobile operators have failed to meet Quality of Service standards for the third year running. Read More
Glo Ghana sanctioned for call setup time delaysThe Ghana NCA says it has sanctioned Ghana’s sixth network operator, Glo, for failing in its Call Setup Time obligation within the Greater Accra region. Read More
Facebook post costs Kenyan $50000A social media user in Kenya has been fined Kshs 5million for allegedly defaming a member of parliament on social media; in a ruling that will set a precedent on any future internet cases in Kenya. Read More
BTCL lists on local bourseA journey that began close to a decade ago has culminated in the first successful privatisation of a Botswana state entity – BTCL. Read More
Huawei appointed lead ICT consultant for UgandaHuawei has been appointed as a lead ICT consultant in Uganda, and has named ten Ugandans to benefit from its Seeds for the Future development programme. Read More
FEATURED STORYNigeria satellite resources to boost economic growth
The Management of NigComSat says Nigeria’s satellite resources are primed to help the nation in accelerating robust ICT infrastructure to boost economic development for the country.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHIBM Opens First Cloud Data Centre in South Africa
IBM is opening a new IBM Cloud Data Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new cloud center is the result of a close collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom and is designed to support cloud adoption and customer demand across the continent.
COMPANY NEWSRSA research reveals blind spots in threat detection
RSA, The Security Division of EMC, has released the results of a new Threat Detection Effectiveness Survey.Networks Unlimited event highlights SimpliVity's new Omnistack Software
Leading data protection focused distributor invites hyperconverged vendor to discuss disaster recovery and data protection.MTN and Ericsson lead the way with first LTE-U network
To future proof its business, MTN SA, together with Ericsson, has successfully trialled LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U) at MTN’s flagship channel store in Morningside, Johannesburg.