Six shortlisted for NITEL stake

26 Jul 2005

Nigeria’s Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) says it has pre-qualified six companies for the sale of a controlling stake in state-run Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL), from a list of 22 prospective investors. South African cellco Vodacom, Chinese equipment vendor Huawei Technologies, Orascom Telecom of Egypt, pan-African operator Celtel International, South Africa-based MTN Group and the relatively unknown Newtel consortium – thought to feature a number of prominent African businessmen, including Nelson Mandela’s son-in-law Kwame Amuah – have all been shortlisted for the 51% in debt-ridden NITEL and, with it, the wholly owned mobile subsidiary NITEL GSM, which offers services under the brand name M-Tel. The BPE is now offering the bidders access to NITEL’s ‘data room’ for a USD35,000 fee. It hopes to conclude a deal by September.

The state’s previous attempt at a stake sale failed in March 2003 after the preferred bidder, International London Limited (ILL), failed to pay the USD1.11 billion agreed asking price. The latest sell-off was provoked by the government’s annulment of an NITEL management contract with Pentascope of the Netherlands over alleged incompetence. Pentascope was given the three-year, USD12 million contract when ILL pulled out of the sale.


Subscribe to CommsUpdate to get the day’s top telecom headlines delivered to your email.

Subscribe to CommsUpdate


Have feedback, corrections, or story ideas? Send them to

Browse Past Issues


Filter CommsUpdate by the following categories or use the search.


Visit our help page information on performing advanced searches, including how to restrict the results by country or company.


CommsUpdate is an outstanding advertising venue for companies seeking to reach:

  • International carriers
  • Wholesale service providers
  • Equipment and software vendors
  • Telecom investors
  • Regulators

Learn more about advertising on CommsUpdate.