NITEL wasted Nigeria’s $7bn - El-Rufai

NITEL wasted Nigeria’s $7bn - El-Rufai

- Governor Nasir El-Rufai has said that NITEL was a firm that wasted federal government's resources

- El-Rufai stated that NITEL crumbled private telecommunications operators (PTOs) to remain the only company in the telecommunications market

- The governor also said that the telecommunications company at the time was the most expensive network in the world with nothing to show for it

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state has said that despite the huge investment of the federal government into the telecommunications industry in the past, the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) spent the sum of $7 billion.

Speaking on Saturday, November 30, El-Rufai said that"NITEL was retarding the progress of the nation. The telecoms revolution caught them unawares,” The Guardian reports.

The Kaduna governor said that he was pleased with the way the firm came into extinction after failing to bring about innovation when it mattered.

He added that with just the provision of 450,000 telephone lines for millions of Nigerians, NITEL was "the most expensive network in the world.”

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El-Rufai said that NITEL fixed what he called outrageous interconnect fees just to crumble private telecommunications operators (PTOs), thereby creating a monopoly.

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The governor said: "On so many occasions, NITEL disconnected these PTOs, and that became a huge problem for some of them, which relied on Interconnect fees to sustain in the market."

Meanwhile, reported that El-Rufai had denied trying to stop the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from probing him as widely reported in the media.

The governor's lawyer, AU Mustapha (SAN), in a statement on Saturday, November 30, clarified the judgement delivered by Justice Binta Murtala Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja delivered on Friday, November 29.

Mustapha said Governor El-Rufai had in 2009 dragged the EFCC to court over the anti-graft agency's allegation that N32 billion was missing under his watch as the minister of the FCT during the administration of former president Olusegun Obasanjo.

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