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Wednesday, March 07, 2012

NITEL ‘Guided Liquidation’: ATCON cautions FG on FNO


The president of the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr. Titi Omo-Ettu has advised the Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE) to be wary of the First National Operator (FNO) license in custody of the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) which is in the process of ‘guided liquidation.’
 
ITRealms Online recalls that a few days ago, the Federal Government had proclaimed that NITEL could be disposed under the ‘guided liquidation’ tag, which is expected to make for an easy seal to its potential final destination.

Although in the past, several attempts were made to sale NITEL, these attempts were not successful, ATCON insisted that the First National Operator (FNO) license in custody of NITEL is worth some $2.2 billion, about

Reacting to the recent pronouncement by the Federal Government, ATCON leadership argued that whatever is the meaning of ‘guided liquidation!’ should be explained to Nigerians.

Speaking through its president, ATCON noted earlier call for an Auction of the First National Operator (FNO) license which NITEL is holding while the winding up process continue to navigate its ways that is exactly what government has now done.

As said by him, any liquidation at all, is a technical matter, hence, he refused to claim verse in this particular ‘guided liquidation’ theory.

“I am not versed in the subject so I do not want to let that vocabulary stow into my thought process,” he declared.

Omo-Ettu maintained that he had since 2009 switched off all thoughts about NITEL when he considered that the final end came for the company.

He stressed that he had previously valuated the license that NITEL was holding and came up with a figure which hovered around $2.2billion.

“I did not keep it to myself. I called a press conference and explained the explainable part of the valuation and how it would guide us in knowing what the country stood to gain, or loose, if such estimation was required to guide a decision,” he said.

However, he said that if by ‘guided liquidation’ is meant a process of resting the corporate name called NITEL and doing the best to recoup whatever is left of the whole project called NITEL, then, there may not be readily alternatives.

“I think there is really no other choice than to do just that. Except that it is coming three years late. It may then mean that my position in 2009 synchs with what has now been announced,” he said.

Further, he advised whoever is implementing the ‘guided liquidation’ to take cognizance of the company they are liquidating as it still has in custody the First National Operator License.

Remmy Nweke

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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