The new owners of the once state-owned telecommunications giant, NATCOM, which is a consortium of seven local and foreign companies, made the disclosure at an investigative public hearing by the committee on over the weekend in Abuja.
NATCOM chairman, Mr. Olatunde Ayeni, had told the House committee that having met all requirements and due diligence in the process leading to the acquisitions of NITEL and MTEL, the company has put in place a programme of resuscitating the two ailing telecoms companies.
According to Ayeni, efforts were ongoing at overhauling the entire cable system while 10,000 Nigerians would be employed to set the companies on the part of competition with other players in the market.
While expressing satisfaction with NATCOM and its work-plan, the Hon. Saheed Fijabi-led committee directed both the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to meet and discuss the sales of the two national telecoms firms.
The parley according to the committee, was to review the commercial and technical areas of the sale as they affect the telecommunications regulatory body and the BPE.
The committee particularly expressed its concern over the settlement of the indebtedness of NITEL by its new owner, NATCOM.
The committee however noted that though NATCOM did all that were required of it despite not been given any form of waiver by BPE and NCC in the process leading to the sales, but pointed out that it was however necessary that the grey areas of NITEL’s indebtedness be sorted out by the BPE and NCC.
The committee also mandated the BPE and NCC to report back to it after the said meeting.
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