ABUJA – The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has said that the liquidation of NITEL/MTEL was the right step in turning around the moribund companies.
The Acting Head, Public Communications, in the Bureau, Mr. Alex Okoh, made the observation in an interview with newsmen in Abuja.
Okoh said that the bureau was confident that NATCOM, the consortium that bought NITEL/MTEL, was capable of reviving the telecommunication companies.
Newsmen recalls that NATCOM, being run by Skye Bank’s Chairman, Olatunde Ayeni; the founder of Sahara Energy, Tonye Cole, and two other companies, had emerged the winning bidder during the NITEL/MTEL liquidation.
“The consortium is made up of renowned world telecoms outfits and credible Nigerians.
“And given the thoroughness they exhibited during the due diligence on the companies and quality of their manpower, coupled with their good business plan, they will not fail,” he said.
Okoh dismissed claims that NITEL/MTEL was undervalued, stressing that the transaction went through a transparent bidding process.
He said that adverts were placed in local and international media, inviting investors from all over the world in line with international best practices.
Okoh said that the enterprises had remained comatose for about five years and that most of the assets had depreciated before they were sold.
“However, the two enterprises are still viable as NITEL is one of the two national carriers with extensive optic fibre cables networks and has fixed line telephony.
“When it becomes fully functional, access to broadband in the country would be greatly enhanced,” he said.
Okoh expressed confidence that in due time, the country would reap the benefit of the liquidation process.