Russian investment company Altimo (the telecoms arm of Alfa Group) has expressed an interest in acquiring a stake in the beleagured operator Nitel and its wireless subsidiary Mtel, reports local newspaper This Day. The news follows an announcement by Nigeria’s vice president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, in which he said the government was determined to ensure that the privatisation of Nitel was transparent and had the best interests of Nigerians at heart. The newspaper also points out that the announcement from Altimo comes barely 24 hours after Nigeria’s president, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, expressed happiness with an EU offer of assistance with the proposed construction of a USD21 billion gas pipeline from Nigeria to Algeria, seemingly favouring cooperation with the EU rather than with Gazprom, a Russian company that recently signed an MoU with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
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