NITEL MANAGEMENT SETS TURNOVER TARGET OF N128BN IN 2005

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

The management of Nigeria Telecommunication Limited ( NITEL) has prepared a business plan for 2003-2005 after the federal government and Pentascope International of Netherlands had signed a $45 million 3-year management contract, setting a turnover target of N128 billion in 2005, up from an estimated N54 billion in 2002.

Vanguard gathered from information made available by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) that the management of the company has anticipated a growth in operating profits before interest and taxes from an estimated N16.5 billion in 2002 to N34 .7 billion in 2005.

The targets included providing one million additional GSM customers, 600,000 new fixed lines, 95 percent call completion rate against the current 52 percent, collection of at least 95 percent of NITEL’s revenue and a minimum of two internet points of presence (POP) per annum.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange had earlier the year called on the federal government to speedy up the privatization of NITEL as many Nigerian shareholders are waiting for the 20 percent share portion of the government that have been slated to be sold on the floor of the Exchange.

Meanwhile, it was also gathered that the Bureau of Public Enterprises ( BPE) has aborted the hybrid offer by Daily Times of Nigeria (DTN). The exercise as learnt was cancelled on account of the low level of subscription put at 1.5 percent.

A further analysis of the offer shows that a total of 1.1 billion ordinary shares made up of 146.4 million shares were offered to the public between November 4 and December 12, 2002 excluding the period of extension.

At the end of the period , 3905 applications for 16.3 million shares valued at N20.3 million were received which was below the permissible minimum level of 25 percent allowed by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), apex regulator of the capital market.

It was gathered that the Issuing House, First Interstate Bank PLC had been directed to seek SEC’s approval so that the Registrar, First Registrar Nigeria Limited would begin to make refund to all applicants.

The Vanguard