NIGERIA on Friday shifted the deadline for the submission of bids for its former telecoms monopoly, Nitel, which has been struggling to find new investors for nearly a decade.
Nigeria's privatisation agency, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), said it extended the deadline to February 15 from January 22 after the 14 suitors for the fixed-line operator and its subsidiaries asked for more time to submit their financial and technical bids.
"The investors' request was premised on their inability to conduct effective due diligence as a result of striking Nitel/MTEL workers' protesting the non-payment of their salaries," the BPE said.
The bureau invited expressions of interest in July for a minimum of 75percent stake in Nitel and each of its units, which include mobile arm MTEL, the South Atlantic Terminal underwater cable (SAT-3) and analogue cellular subsidiaries STAC and CDMA.
The agency said it pre-qualified 14 investors, including the Nigerian arms of South Africa's MTN Group and Emirates Telecommunications Corp (Etisalat), MTNL India, a group involving Spain's Telefonica and local firm Globacom. - Reuters