Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Glo may acquire NITEL

The tide may have favoured the Second National Operator (SNO), Globacom over the choice of who should buy over the moribund Nigerian Telecommunications Plc (NITEL).

This is coming as the South Atlantic 3 otherwise known as the West Africa Submarine Cable SAT-3/WASC, a submarine communications cable linking Portugal and Spain to South Africa with connections to several West African countries, including Nigeria and Benin Republic, is the top on the agenda of most of the contenders.

Investigations carried out by ITRealms Online at the weekend at the just concluded African Telecom Development Summit, Abuja, shows that among all the contenders, Globacom is the most favoured.

Some of our sources who commented on anonymity across the government’s departments and agencies, rooted for the Second National Operator to clinch the NITEL offer which date of sale has been reduced to less than 60 days.

It was also gathered that the landing of Glo-1, the submarine cable subsidiary of the SNO did not go unnoticed and could boost Glo chances if the offer of NITEL for sale reaches or gives the government the option of picking its preferred bidder, even as our sources affirmed this fact.

Our sources further expressed optimism that Glo stands a better chance to clinch NITEL, although it may have to contend with the mobile group of MTN and its India channel.

Globacom had few months back assured that if given the opportunity to buy over NITEL, it would not enthrone monopoly, but rather open up the telecommunications sector further with efficient management skills, embedded in its desire to deliver a world-class telephony to Africans and Nigerians particularly.

As said recently by the Head, Network Operations, Globacom, Mr. Aremu Olajide while in a chat with some newsmen in Lagos, “Glo will bring NITEL back to life, I can assure you,” he declared.

ITRealms Online recalls that about 21 days ago, the Federal Government through National Council on Privatisation (NCP) gave the new board of NITEL and the Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE) a 60-day ultimatum to dispose the first national operator alongside its subsidiary, the Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTel).

NITEL was in late 2006 sold to Transnational Corporation Plc (TRANSCOP) with accompanied 51 per cent equity share by the Olusegun Obasanjo’s government under the guess of ‘preferred bidder’ but was revoked mid-year 2009 by the current administration of President Musa Yar’Adua.

However, the government cleared Obasanjo’s administration of any collusion in the aftermath of NITEL/MTEL, insisting that it was basically as a result of the inability of Transcorp team to deliver on terms and conditions of the Shares Sales Purchase Agreement (SSPA) including the exit of British telecommunications as the technical operator and failure to inject relevant fund amounting to N8.9 billion cash into NITEL within 100 days of takeover to cushion the effect of liquidity challenges in the first national operator.

According to the Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, government is keen at bringing back the lost glory of NITEL which invariably held back the escalation of the public-owned telecom giant.

The current board presided over by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communications, Mrs. Amunna Lawan Ali, comprises of the director general, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Dr. Christopher Anyanwu, head of the civil service of the federation Mr. Steve Oronsaye, acting managing director of NITEL to be appointed, director, information and communication at BPE, Mr. Ibrahim Kashim, while the Senior Special Adviser (SSA) on economic matters to VP, Mr. Sam Worlu would stand-in for Dr. Jonathan on the board of NCP as well as the managing director, NIGCOMSAT Limited, Mr. Ahmed Rufai.

For Globacom, which made its debut in 2003 with the launch of its mobile arm on August 29, there is need to remain in the forefront of revolution within the telecommunications sector and precisely the Global System for Mobile (GSM) communications after pioneering the per second billing (PSB), which has since become a niche for the operator in all its offerings.

In its first year of operation, Glo reportedly recorded one million subscribers and covering over 87 towns in just nine months, whereas the subscriber figure presently stood at over 22 million with coverage extending to over 50,000 cities, towns, communities and major roads. Glo prides itself as the 5th largest operator in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) mobile market as well as the fastest growing network in the region.

Some of those in the race for NITEL includes Emerging Market Telecommunications Services (EMTS) trading as Etisalat Nigeria, Omen International Limited (BVI), Summit Group, MTI Consortium, Finetek.Com/Ericsson Consortium, MTNL Limited India and Globacom Ltd. Also in the race are MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, Anas Network Services Limited, Telefonica Consortium, Metro PCS Communications Inc, Galaxy Backbone Plc and Brymedia (W.A.) Limited.

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1 comment:

pratishtha said...

caring for a dog

This is the first time I’ve read about this. I keep learning new things everyday!