By Etuka Sunday
The Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Benjamin E. Dikki, has said, there was no going back on the deadline set for
the submission of technical and financial proposals for the liquidation of NITEL/MTEL, therefore urged for strict adherence by prequalified bidders.
The deadline for the submission of the technical and financial proposals has been scheduled to close 5pm Nigerian time on Friday 07 November 2014.
He however said that bidders were free to submit their proposals before the deadline, but emphasized that bidders must endeavor to submit their proposals as scheduled “as no proposal will be accepted, even if it is one minute after the closing time for submission.”
A statement by the Head, Public Communications, BPE, Chigbo Anichebe quoted the DG as saying that “the Bureau is a stickler of time and deadlines without any compromise.”
The two prequalified consortia are Messrs NETTAG Consortium and Natcom Consortium. The DG noted that the pre-bid conference is an important milestone in the privatization of NITEL and MTEL.
In his overview of the Liquidation transaction, the Liquidator, Otunba Olutola O. Senbore, noted that the objectives of the current exercise include the disposal of assets and business units of NITEL and MTEL as one entity; and the need to select bidders/investors through a competitive bidding system that have the technical and financial wherewithal to continue to run the two telecomm giants as going concerns.
He also noted that the preferred bidder “must have the capability to turn around the business acquired into first class telecommunications companies.”
Otunba Senbore said this exercise is different from the past ones because it is a disposal of assets and businesses without encumbrances since they are free fo liabilities.
He said the transaction “by way of guided liquidation is more plausible, more bankable and more attractive.”
Senbore said due diligence would be continuously conducted on the bidders ” including security checks as appropriate, and after the opening of financial bids, negotiation with the preferred and reserved bidders would commence to resolve any outstanding issues, especially on the Post Acquisition Plan.”
It would be recalled that the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), on February 27th 2013, approved the sale of NITEL/MTEL through Guided Liquidation after several failed attempts in the past to privatize the enterprises. Under the guided liquidation strategy, NITEL and MTEL are to be sold as a single lot to a qualified bidder by a Liquidator under the guidance of the Bureau.
Senbore’s appointment was confirmed by the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on March 14, 2014 and he commenced the process on March 25th 2014 and appointed professionals to work with him as required under the law. Members of Committee of Inspection (COI) were appointed from significant creditors including equipment vendors, Debt Management Office, First Bank Plc and others