NCP Appoints Liquidator for NITEL

ABUJA – The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) Thursday appointed Olutola Senbore & Company as the liquidator for the national telecommunications carrier, Nigerian Telecommunication Limited (NITEL), and its mobile sister firm, Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTEL).

Senbore, a Lagos-based Chartered Accounting firm, which also render services in Financial Consultancy Services, Insolvency Practitioner Management, has six month to accomplish his task.

This was one of the outcomes of the fifth meeting of the NCP this year, which was chaired by Vice-President Namadi Sambo, at the State House, Abuja. Others were the sale of the Kaduna Distribution Company (DISCO) and Afam plant, approval for BPE to set aside N59.55 billion from the sale of Egbin power plant for operations, partial privatisation of the Bank of Agriculture (BoI) and a resolution that the expertise of BPE be deployed in the process of privatising some national assets.

NITEL BuildingThe choice of the liquidator was reached, after several bids were received from eight companies, at the end of which five were pre-qualified and one picked after final analysis.

Minister of State for Finance, Yerima Ngama, and Director-General of the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Benjamin Diki, told State House correspondents, that government expects the two firms to be sold off as ongoing concerns to continue in the same line of business.

Diki, while assuring that the assets of the firms will remain intact and during the process as was the case with the sale of national fertiliser company in Onne, Rivers State, to global fertiliser giant, Notore, also said: “The process of liquidating the firms in this manner is to protect the shareholders even as he enthused that “this time around, we expect the sale of NITEL to be a success.”

The liquidator and other interested investors were expected to carry out due diligence on NITEL and MTEL, after which preferred prices would be set by the BPE ahead of the privatisation process.

Ngama said: “We have operated them for long and we think we should get the private sector in to bring in additional financing. We need partners to reposition the banks and help them raise funds.”

On Kaduna Disco and Afam, Ngama announced the approval of seven pre-qualified firms to advance to the next stage – financial bidding – of the privatisation of Kaduna Disco; while three firms similarly qualified from the technical tests to advance to the financial bidding to buy Afam power plant.

For Kaduna Disco, the pre-qualified bidders are Axis Power Distribution Limited, NAHCO Consortium, INCAR Consortium Aiteo Consortium, LEDA consortium Limited, Northwest Power Limited, and Copperbelt Consortium.
For Afam plant, the bidders were Primezia Energy Limited, TES Power Limited, Talevares Group.

The pre-qualified bidders were required to provide post-qualification security of $15 million for Kaduna Disco and $10 million for Afam power plant.

“We have also noticed that over the years the BPE has gained experience in preparation of companies for privatisation so as part of efforts to conserve the internal competences and expertise we have in the BPE are now going to be conserved to prepare potential companies for privatisation,” Ngama said.

For this purpose, in-house teams from BPE were to be set up to examine them and evolve frameworks that would guide the sale process. – THIS DAY

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