An unsuccessful bidder for Nigeria’s defunct state-owned incumbent Nigeria Telecommunications (NITEL) and its mobile arm M-Tel has launched a legal challenge against its sale to NATCOM Consortium, an investment vehicle jointly-owned by a major financier of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), AllAfrica reports.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, earlier this month NATCOM emerged as the preferred buyer in the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE’s) guided liquidation process after offering USD252.25 million for the two moribund operators. However, Arabian Amlak Investment Limited, one of the 22 companies that submitted expressions of interest (EoI) for NITEL/M-Tel, criticised the ‘guided liquidation’ strategy adopted by the BPE, by reportedly claiming that the government was favouring certain categories of bidders. In its legal challenge, the unsuccessful bidder allegedly questions the government’s decision to accept an amount far less than the USD920 million it claimed it offered the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) on ‘a willing-buyer willing-seller’ basis in its EoI of August 2011. However, Arabian Amlak Investment’s CEO Muazu Omolori disclosed that he would not be able to provide more details on his company’s position against BPE’s decision, in order to avoid jeopardising its case in court.