Nigeria orders review of NITEL sale

March 13, 2010 12:00 am

, ABUJA, Mar 13 – Nigeria\’s Acting President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday ordered a review of the recent sale of state-run telecoms group NITEL because of controversies surrounding the deal.

Last month, New Generation Telecoms Company, a consortium of local and foreign firms, won NITEL with a bid of 2.5 billion dollars but its technical partners China Unicom denied knowledge of the deal.

Jonathan set up a seven-member panel headed by Justice Minister Adetokunbo Kayode to review the sale.

"The panel is to look into the sale to examine the recurrent issues surrounding it and report back to the NCP (National Council on Privatisation) by next Friday," presidential spokesman Ima Niboro said in a statement.

Previous attempts to sell off the government\’s stake in under-performing NITEL and its mobile subsidiary MTEL ran into hitches.

The 2006 sale of 51 percent of the company to a local firm for 500 million dollars was canceled last year after the government accused the buyer of failing to turn around the debt-ridden and mismanaged company.


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