The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) has approved the sale of a NITEL/MTEL property located at number 3-5, Moloney Street, Tafawa Balewa Square, Onikan, Lagos to the state government.
This is contained in a statement signed by Chidi Ibeh, Head of Public Communications, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) in Abuja on Friday.
Mr Ibeh 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.
“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.”
He said the NCP chaired by the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, granted the approval at its second meeting for 2023 held on Tuesday.
It would be recalled that NITEL was incorporated in 1984 but formally commenced operations in 1985.
NITEL was jointly owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria with 93.3 per cent share and First Bank of Nigeria Plc with 6.7 per cent.
However, MTEL was established in 1996 out of NITEL to provide cellular services.
It started a General System for Mobile communication (GSM) in March 2003 after NITEL transferred its GSM licence it acquired when the Nigerian Communication Commission first auctioned Digital Mobile Licences in February 2001.
Mr Ibeh said the NCP, at its meeting on February 27, 2012, approved the privatisation of NITEL and MTEL through “guided liquidation”.
He said under the guided liquidation strategy, all the core assets and business undertakings of NITEL and MTEL were to be sold as a 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.
Mr Ibeh 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.”