NIGERIAN GOVT TO SELL NITEL WITHOUT SAT-3 ASSET

Telecoms

Controversy surrounding the ownership of SAT-3 has been put to rest as federal government has resolved to separate SAT-3 from Nigerian Telecommunication Limited (NITEL). Communication Minister, Chief Cornelus Adebayo said federal government has started the process of selling the national asset.SAT 3 submarine cable project The SAT 3 cable project connects Africa with Europe and is a major revenue earner for NITEL

NITEL spent some $45 million about N5.9 billion in 2002 to co-own the facility which runs through the Atlantic Ocean linking countries along the route.

He said this became necessary in view of the privatization of NITEL which according to him could be bought by anybody, and that as SAT-3 is crucial tool for Information and Communication Technology development government believe it should be held in the hand which can guarantee competitive cost.

The Minister stated this over the weekend in Lagos during the launch of Omatek Computers Desktop and Notebook using Intel mother Boards and Citrix banking solution.

Chief Adebayo noted that the decision to sale SAT-3 outside NITEL is in cognizance of the need to make the facility available.

"It is also in protection of the interest of Nigeria that we are doing this, because as NITEL is been sold in open market, it can be bought by anybody," he said.On the fear that the separation of SAT-3 from NITEL could discourage bidders for the First National Carrier, Chief Adebayo said there is more in NITEL than SAT-3.

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