Niger to reprivatise Sonitel and SahelCom

16 Feb 2009

Reuters reports that the government of Niger is to renationalise the 51% stakes in fixed line operator Sonitel and cellco SahelCom from a Sino-Libyan consortium which the government says has not met its obligations. ‘The privatisation of Sonitel and its subsidiary SahelCom is a failure. Therefore, at zero hours on 19 February, Dataport will no longer be a shareholder in Sonitel or SahelCom,’ Mohamed Ben Omar, communications minister and government spokesman, told state television. Dataport, which includes Libyan group LAAICO and Chinese vendor ZTE Corp, acquired the stakes in December 2001 for XOF17.5 billion (USD34.5 million). Ben Omar said Dataport had failed to meet its obligation, including not meeting a target of 45,000 fixed line subscribers.

Niger, Niger Telecoms (formerly Sonitel/SahelCom)