Auctioneers Battle BPE On The Sale Of Mtel To NATCOM

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The management of NATCOM, owners of nTel 4G network and the Bureau of Public Enterprise, BPE market might have to get their legal team ready as the Nigerian Association of Auctioneers, NAA has written a petition to the Presidency challenging the sales of NITEL/Mtel to the company.

At a press briefing in Abuja, Nigeria’s commercial capital, the association alleged that the sale of core and non-core assets of NITEL/Mtel to NATCOM by the Bureau of Public Enterprise, BPE was done without following lay down rules guiding the sales of public assets.

The auction pressure said it has forwarded two petitions to the Presidency on the matter claiming that the sales process of the company was done in a “shrewd manner”

Aliyu Kiliya, NAA’s National Chairman claimed that the sales of NITEL/Mtel without involving professional auctioneers. Elaborating on the matter, he said

He explained that “We felt the procedure followed by BPE was wrong. Most of the agents that sold the assets were from BPE. We felt this was totally wrong and the association took the matter to court. I drew the attention of the then minister to the irregularity being done by BPE.

“The minister wrote to BPE and they suspended the sale and they transferred the sale to NATCOM because of our petition to the minister and NATCOM appointed a liquidator. They allocated some of the utility vehicles to former staff of NITEL/Mtel so that they won’t talk”.

He alledged that “There was a firm that offered a bidding price of $1 billion for NITEL, but BPE in its wisdom sold it at $250 million to NATCOM. “The process is not transparent and the association of auctioneers is calling for a re-visit of the transaction process.”

Spokesperson for the BPE Alex Okoh has not released any statement on the matter.

Since April, nTel had started operations in Lagos, providing 4G LTE mobile Internet services in select locations within the city.

The company has also appointed Theophilus Danjuma as its Chairman. It is unclear if NAA will be suing the BPE as a follow up to their protest on the matter.

NITEL/Mtel was a mobile carrier between 2004 to 2005, as a result of mismanagement and bureaucracy, the company stopped operation, paving way for Glo, Nigeria’s one and only national carrier.

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