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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Transcorp resolves to make progress in NITEL

Indications have emerged that majority stake owners in the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL), Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp) is determined to prove skeptics wrong with the steady progress in the telco.

Transcorp also said that it has made progress since taking firm control of NITEL.

Close sources at Transcorp hinted last weekend that a lot of progress have been recorded, especially in shoring up revenue inflow through improved processes and debt collection. “If the trend of revenue collection is sustained, NITEL may indeed by in apposition to pay its staff salaries without subvention within the next 60 days,” our source declared.

This is more evident as a result of the joint efforts of NITEL staff and a team of accountants sent by Transcorp to manage the process.

This development is coming as Transcorp sources said the firm is on the verge of injecting some fund to execute the interim resuscitation strategy for NITEL.

The interim strategy will restore the NITEL backbone and provide data services to critical sectors of the economy including financial service, oil & gas and security.

Meanwhile, Transcorp has reiterated commitment to revitalise NITEL and its mobile unit, the Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTEL).

Sources close to the firm, who pleaded anonymity, disclosed on penultimate Monday said that Transcorp might have felt disappointed with the financial irregularities discovered in NITEL recently; it is working out modalities to ensure the loopholes are blocked and that such occurrences do not repeat itself in the future.

Transcorp had, fortnight ago, alleged that its team of accountants which had been examining financial records of NITEL, discovered what it referred to as a major fraud. The team, according to Transcorp, had identified a huge leak in the billing system of NITEL through which revenue generation was unaccounted for.

As a result of this, Transcorp threatened to suspend further investments in NITEL until corrective steps were taken to block leakages in the financial system of the first national telephone network operator.

However, the source disclosed, Transcorp is committed to its plans for NITEL and MTEL; adding that the management is currently reviewing its blueprint meant for revival of the subsidiaries. ‘Transcorp still believes NITEL has enormous potential to return to the path of profitability.

Despite the challenges, Transcorp has a huge potential to pay huge returns to shareholders,’ he said.

Reacting to the position of the National Union of Postal and Telecommunications Employees (NUPTE) on the issue, the source said the body only needed to gain access to the various steps Transcorp is taking to address the pending issues.

NUPTE is calling on the Federal Government to take over the management of NITEL due to what it called incapability in managing the crisis in the first national carrier.

The source however was not satisfied with the NUPTE’s judgment of the prevailing crisis, asking whether the government would give thumps up for the financialirregularities just discovered in NITEL. I

nstead of pointing accusing fingers at Transcorp, the source advised the union to sanction any of its members involved in the alleged fraud, even if it would pitch another tent with the conglomerate.

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