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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Chinese bank boosts RelTel with N2.6b

Chinese Development Bank (CDB) has given Nigerian private telecom operator (PTO), Reliance Telecommunications Ltd, a boost with $20 million (about N2,602,100,000,000.00) financial support to assist the company in its bid to position.

Executive Vice-Chairman, Reltelwireless, Mr. Kenneth Aigbinode, disclosed this to newsmen in Lagos, saying that the firm was also at “the final stages of negotiations with an Indian company, wanting to invest about $55 million in Reltelwireless’’.

Mr. Aigbinode also said the financial support from CDB was facilitated by Huawei Technologies, the Chinese telecommunications giant, through a vendor-finance arrangement.

He said that the Indian firm had approved Mr. Vinoo Goyal, the Chief Operating Officer of Reltelwireless, facilitation of due diligence on the operator.

Mr. Aigbinode noted that Reltelwireless has also embarked on a major
capital-raising exercise, through private placement, targeted at discerning Nigerians to raise about N7.5 billion.

“We are targeting some major private-sector investors and we are not looking back in our determination to consolidate the position of Reltelwireless as the dominant fixed wireless operator in Nigeria,” he stated.

The newly appointed EVC for RelTelWireless, said that the latest initiatives of the firm’s management were aimed at positioning the company for the upcoming unified licensing regime, planned by the federal government.

He said, “The unified licensing regime suits the strategy adopted by the new management of Reltelwireless,” describing the company as a front-runner in the bid to make telecommunications services available and affordable to the populace.

Reltelwireless has deployed its services in major cities nationwide, including Lagos, Port Harcourt, Nnewi and Onitsha, with plans to commence operations in Abuja, Ibadan, Benin, Awka, Aba, Enugu and Abeokuta in the near future.

Reltelwireless, a national fixed wireless licence operator, has an installed capacity of about 1.2 million subscribers, making the company the biggest fixed wireless operator in the country.

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