President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered a probe into processes leading to the sale of the moribund Nigerian Telecommunications (NITEL) and its mobile arm, Mobile Telecommunications (M-TEL) by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communication & Technology, Dr. Tunji Olaopa, who spoke to State House Correspondents after briefing President Buhari on the activities of the sector, said that the President has directed him to raise a memo on the whole transaction to ascertain if there were any underhand dealings.
He also stated that the President was equally concerned about the quality of services rendered by the telecom operators in Nigeria.
His words: “The President was concerned about the liquidation of NITEL. He is not opposed to its privatization but he wants to know and he wants us to bring a memo on how the whole transaction was undertaken so that he would know whether Nigeria was short-changed.
“The President was concerned by the quality of service of telecom operators. The President is very concerned about the whole issue of privatization that is hindering investments in ICT infrastructure and that he will personally champion this. The President talked about the potentials of the ICT sector in generating employment”.
Buhari, however, said the probe was not an indication he was opposed to the sale of the national carrier but to ensure there were no underhand practices in the process of the deal.