The debt of ailing Nigerian incumbent operator Nigerian Telecommunications (NITEL) will be shared between the telco’s new buyer and the federal government, local daily Vanguard reports, citing chairman of the Senate Committee on Communications, Senator Sylvester Anyanwu. The chairman also revealed that the winning bidder of a 75% stake in NITEL will be declared by the end of November, and that interested parties have already been shortlisted. 14 companies have reportedly expressed an interest in NITEL, including Etisalat Nigeria, MTNL of India, Globacom, MTN Nigeria, Telefonica of Spain and MetroPCS Communications.
In a separate story, THISDAY reports that Information and Communications Minister Dora Akunyili has said the ministry will make recommendations to the Federal Executive Council to merge the two regulatory bodies of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), by the end of December. The minister said the move was designed to prevent overlap in the area of spectrum licensing.