Federal Government to Transfer 15 Percent of Nitel Shares to Nigcomsat

According to a report in the Vanguard newspaper, President Umaru Musa Yar Adua has agreed to the transfer of 15 per cent of the Federal Government shares in Nitel to NigComSat. Thid will pave way for NigComSat to offer direct telecommunication service to Nitel subscribers.

This development follows the recent refusal of the regulator NCC to give the government-owned satellite bandwidth, license to provide telecommunication service to subscribers in Nigeria. President Yar'Adua set up a committee headed by the Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan to recommend ways of resolving the matter between the two organisations.

According to the Vanguard’s source, President Yar'Adua has already approved the recommendations of the Vice President Jonathan-led committee. The recommendations include: the appointment of a private sector professional to head the board of NigComSat; the granting of the 15% shareholding in Nitel; and the retention by Government of 100% of the shares of NigComSat.

According the to the source briefing the Vanguard, one motivation for involving NigComSat is that NigComSat could re-launch sales in Nitel’s SAT-3 fibre. Since NigComSat is not exactly blazing a path with its own sales (see Internet News below), this seems an odd reason for bringing the two together.


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