Thursday, November 4, 2010

NIGERIA: COMPANIES MISS DEADLINE FOR NITEL SALE

A consortium has missed a deadline for a $750 million down payment to purchase Nigeria's struggling state-run telephone company (NITEL).

Usman Gumi -- the managing director of the Nigerian company GiCell and a member of the New Generation Telecommunications Consortium asked for an additional 30 days to put up the money.

The consortium had bid $2.5 billion to buy the failing Nigerian Telecommunications Ltd., known locally as Nitel.

Nitel, in principle, provides landline telephone service in Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation with 150 million residents. However, the state company's telephones now rarely work.

Attempts to privatize Nitel have failed in the past.

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