If you think that the Nigerian government really wants to sell NITEL, think again.
After the winning bidder to take over 75% stake in NITEL was unable to pay the 30% deposit of its $2.5 billion bid, Nigeria’s Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) announced a few weeks ago that it would reconsider the reserve bidder of $956 million for the state-owned telecoms network.
Update: This was an April Fool’s Day post
You would recall that back in 2006, a Nigerian company, Transcorp bought a 75% stake in NITEL for $750 million during an earlier privatization sale, but the government reclaimed the stake in 2009 following several years of neglect.
Now, in a twist of events, we are hearing rumours that the embattled Nigerian Telecommunications management is now in serious talks with Bharti Airtel to acquire Airtel Nigeria (formerly Zain Nigeria). The details of the acquisition are still uncertain.
Last year, India’s largest cellular company Bharti Airtel acquired Zain’s African operations in a whooping $10.7 billion transaction. Since then, the company has been making promises of building a one-stop, world class telecommunication network with awesome customer base and didn’t realise when Globacom overtook them by subscriber base.
The company’s aggressive bid to attract more subscribers with its ‘Feel Free’ promo has made it become a fAIRyTEL, as subscribers have experienced poor receptions and an annoying congested network.
So far, AIRTEL has failed to impress. In fact, it’s a FAIRTEL! But if the rumours are anything to go by, what would a NITEL acquisition of AIRTEL look like?
Already, I’m cringing at the mere thought of this deal. Industry experts have said that if NITEL acquires AIRTEL, the result will be a NO-TEL.
What that simply means is that we shouldn’t expect any telecommunication from the network. In fact, expect a -1G network.
Update: This was an April Fool’s Day post
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