Nigeria’s Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has confirmed that NATCOM Consortium has paid the outstanding balance for the assets of defunct state-owned incumbent Nigeria Telecommunications (NITEL) and its mobile arm M-Tel. According to a statement from the BPE, NATCOM paid the remaining 70% of the USD252.52 million total bid price on 2 April, ahead of the 7 April deadline set by the privatisation agency. The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) approved the ‘guided liquidation’ of NITEL and M-Tel in February 2012 in light of previous failed privatisation attempts and liabilities to creditors. NATCOM, which was announced as NITEL’s preferred buyer in December 2014, is a special purpose entity set up for the acquisition, comprising a consortium of companies reportedly including NATSPACE Telecommunication Investment, Hong Kong-based telco PCCW Global, Prime Union Investment Limited, Olutoyl Estate Development & Services, Sahara Energy Resources, Legal Resources Alliance & Co and technical partner LM Ericsson Nigeria. It is required to roll out telecoms services in Nigeria within the next three years.
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