Globacom eyes NITEL acquisition

5 Jun 2009

Nigerian daily THISDAY reports that the spokesperson for the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), Joseph Anichebe, has said that Nigeria’s second national operator (SNO) Globacom expressed an interest in buying ailing incumbent telco NITEL at a forum organised by the government’s privatisation agency in May. The news follows the announcement that the Nigerian state revoked the sale of a 51% stake in NITEL to local company Transcorp earlier in the week.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Globacom was awarded Nigeria’s SNO licence in August 2002, allowing it to operate services in all of the country’s telecoms arenas. It launched GSM services under the banner Glo Mobile in August 2003 and quickly became the fastest growing mobile operator in the country, claiming 16 million customers by the end of 2008. The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has expressed concern about Globacom’s interest in NITEL; if the SNO is successful in acquiring the 51% stake in the struggling telco it will have a monopoly on fixed line services in Nigeria.