The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) has approved the sale of the NITEL/MTEL property located at Tafawa Balewa Square, Onikan, Lagos State.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) on Friday in Abuja.
The price: The BPE revealed that the property was listed for sale by the liquidator of NITEL/MTEL non-core assets at the cost of N2.5 billion.
Chidi Ibeh, the Head of Public Communications at Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), said the property was one of those listed for sale by the liquidator of NITEL/MTEL non-core assets at the cost of N2.5 billion. He said:
- “Meanwhile, the property is presently encumbered by the activities of illegal occupants and the Lagos State Government has promised a harmless takeover of the property.”
The approval: The statement revealed that the NCP, which is chaired by the Vice-President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, granted the approval at its second meeting for 2023 held on Tuesday.
It added that the NCP, at its meeting on Feb. 27, 2012, approved the privatisation of NITEL and MTEL through “guided liquidation”, which means all the core assets and business undertakings of NITEL and MTEL were to be sold as single or multiple lots.
NITEL and MTEL were to be sold to a qualified bidder by the Liquidator under the general guidance of the NCP. Part of the statement said:
- “The strategy was adopted by the council after due consideration of other options, considering the previous failed attempts to privatise NITEL and MTEL through Strategic Core Investor Sale.
- “The council also considered the failed attempt to privatise NITEL and MTEL through Negotiated Sale strategies and the huge liabilities to creditors to the tune of over N300 billion.”
What you should know: NITEL was incorporated in 1984 and commenced operations in 1985. It was jointly owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria with a 93.3% stake and First Bank of Nigeria Plc with 6.7%. MTEL was established in 1996 out of NITEL to provide cellular services.
MTEL commenced General System for Mobile communication (GSM) in March 2003 after NITEL transferred its GSM licence it acquired when the Nigerian Communication Commission first auctioned Licences in 2001.
In case you missed it: Recall Nairametrics reported in 2021 that The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Nigeria’s privatisation agency, intends to sell 36 state-owned assets in 2021.
The BPE announced it planned to raise N493.4 billion (US$1.2 billion) from selling these state-owned assets, which include power-generation plants and free-trade zones.
According to the report, the reason for the asset sale is to generate revenue for the government while also reducing operational inefficiencies and increasing competence through private investments.
What the statement doesn’t include is if the total liabilities stood at over 300 billion naira and the total sales is just 2.5 billion naira. Where would the deficit comes from?