Workers Seek Review of Nitel/Mtel Privatisation in Nigeria

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Telecommunication workers under the aegis of National Association of Telecommunications Employees (NATE) and the Senior Staff Association of Communications, Transport and Corporations (SSACTAC) have called on the Minister of Information and Communication, Professor Dora Akunyili, to conduct fresh investigation into the process leading to the privatisation of the Nigerian Telecommunication Limited (NITEL) and its sister company, Nigeria Mobile Telecommunication (Mtel).

The employees in separate letters to the minister requested for an urgent and lasting solution to the lingering crisis in both companies.

Particularly, the Unions urged the new minister to use her good office to revisit records of the privatisation exercise of the companies between 2001 before the privatisation exercise to date to determine if it was properly executed.

According to the Union, the companies were first handed over to Pentascope between 2003 and 2005 and then the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) took over between 2005 and 2006 before it was acquired by Transnational Corporation (Transcorp) from 2006 to date.

The aggrieved workers also called for investigation of the details of the liquidation of non-core assets of both companies by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) through Messrs. Adekanola & Co.'s letter dated 22nd December 2008 and titled "Welcome to the beat" signed by NATE National President, Charles Amankwe,and NATE Assistant National Secretary, Yisa Jacob, noted that Prof. Akunyili's posting to the information sector brought about a renewed hope that the lingering problem in the sector might be solved after all.

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