The sale of a 25% stake in Nigerian telco NITEL has taken a step closer to becoming a reality, with an announcement by the Bureau of Public Enterprises that it has completed preparatory work for an IPO on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. According to current scheduling, the sale is expected to go ahead at the end of August. NITEL has been planning its privatisation since early last year. Indeed, in mid-2002 the company attempted to sell a 51% tranche to a strategic investor, but failed to garner sufficient interest from investors. Not one to be easily put off, the Nigerian government subsequently decided to offer shares in the company on the national stock exchange. As a prelude to its privatisation NITEL was awarded a new operating licence in November 2002 which requires it to roll out 600,000 lines within 36 months and 1.2 million lines within five years.