C & W REBUTS THIS DAY’S NITEL BANKRUPTCY STORY

Telecoms

The article we carried last week based on a story by This Day that Cable and Wireless was to put Nitel into bankruptcy for unpaid SAT3 bills has been denied in a letter from Cable and Wireless’ Taj Onigbanjo, Business Development Director - Africa

He says the story “is mostly inaccurate and misleading. We have no intention, nor have the power, to shut down Nitel or its SAT3 connection. Nitel is a private company that has its own relationship with the SAT3 administrator. Whilst Nitel do have a certain amount of debt with us, we are actually working very closely with their Executives to not only manage this debt but to further build on a relationship that stretches back many years”.

“Our main focus is to ensure that our vast number of Enterprise and Carrier clients continue to enjoy the services we provide via Sat3 and Nitel and that we can meet the ongoing demand for these services. As the largest partner to Nitel on International connectivity it is not in either of our interests for the SAT3 link to be closed”.

However, the kicker is in the final paragraph of letter and must make depressing reading for any potential SAT3 customer in Nigeria:”The main issue with Nitel is still its inability to activate new circuits on SAT 3 because of the debt owed to the SAT 3 consortium and we are currently working together to resolve this”. So not going bankrupt but certainly not going anywhere very soon.

Meanwhile Cable and Wireless has denied that it is to split the company up into separate UK and international companies and sell them to private equity groups or other telcos. But the denial had something of the “Oh, no, it’s too early to discuss that” about it.