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Published On: Wed, Dec 24th, 2014

NATCOM pledges to revive NITEL/Mtel

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NITEL_MtelBy Etuka Sunday

The preferred bidder of NITEL/Mtel-NATCOM Consortium has pledged to turn around the moribund telecom conglomerate in the shortest possible time to bring it back to its lost glory.

A statement by the Head, Public Communications, BPE, Chigbo Anichebe quoted the Chairman of the Consortium, Dr. Olatunde Ayeni to have made the pledge in Abuja at the signing of the Assets Sale Agreement and Issuance of Offer Letter to the preferred bidder by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).

Ayeni said the organization still had potentials to make it the national carrier.

He said the Consortium had the wherewithal to revamp NITEL/Mtel to become the biggest and leading telecommunications outfit in Nigeria and that with the signing of the transaction documents, the process of revamping the organization had begun.

Ayeni recalled the previous failed attempts to sell the enterprise and maintained that the current effort would not be in vain as the Consortium was determined to break the jinx.

“We pledge to make NITEL/Mtel to come alive again to the delight of the BPE that had unsuccessfully in the past tried to sell the enterprise and to the good of Nigerians who will be employed and afforded another service provider in the telecoms market”, he added.

Ayeni commended the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) for the professional manner it handled the entire transaction culminating into the emergence of the preferred bidder, noting that “BPE is indeed, one of the few government agencies in Nigeria that is transparent, meticulous and executes its assignments diligently”.

Earlier, the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Benjamin Ezra Dikki said that given the zeal and caliber of persons on the Consortium that won the bid, he was confident that the Consortium would pay the bid price and make NITEL/Mtel work again. “I believe we have the right group to turnaround Nitel/M-tel and we believe without any doubt in their ability to turnaround the fortunes of Nitel,” Dikki said.

Dikki said the transaction had undergone a full circle with ratification and approval by the National Council on Privatization (NCP) and that what was remaining now was for the preferred bidder to pay up and take possession.

He however warned the preferred bidder that signing of the Assets Sale Agreement did not in any way confer ownership on the consortium; adding that only the full payment of the bid consideration would grant them access to the assets

Also speaking, the Liquidator for NITEL/Mtel, Otunba Olutola Senbore noted that though the task was daunting, with the cooperation of all stakeholders, the transaction was successful.

It would be recalled that following the disqualification of NETTAG Consortium as a result of its failure to provide a bid bond together, only the financial bid of NATCOM Consortium qualified for opening on December 3, 2014; having scored an average of 92% in its technical proposal which was above the minimum pass mark of 75%, and satisfied the requirement of a valid bid bond.

Accordingly, the financial proposal of NATCOM Consortium was publicly opened on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 which it won a bid price of $252.25m.


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