Nitel sale cancelled again

3 Jan 2006

The privatisation of state-owned telco Nitel has been called off again, just days after Egyptian holding company Orascom Telecom submitted what was expected to be a winning bid of USD256.53 million. Although the bid fell short of the government’s reserve price – which has not been disclosed – it was thought to have accepted the offer, but yesterday President Olusegun Obas called off the deal because the offer was too low. According to newspaper reports, Obas was ‘embarrassed that such a national heritage was going for peanuts’.

The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) had originally hoped to conclude a deal in November, but the process has already been postponed several times because of opposition.

Nigeria, ntel (formerly NITEL/M-Tel)