Iranian Investors Eye NITEL, Bridge Banks

Photo: Iranian Investors Eye NITEL, Bridge Banks / Iran

Iranian investors under the Iran-Nigeria Investment Corporation and led by Kouros Capital Group (KCG) have expressed interest in Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) company and the bridge banks whose privatisation has lingered.

The investors are expected to bring into the country multi-billion dollar investments in diverse areas as telecommunications, agriculture, banking, oil and gas, and aviation, the Nigerian Thisday online newspaper reported on July 31.

This was disclosed by the chairman of Kouros Capital Group, a member of the Iran-Nigeria Investment Corporation, Kouros Jahangiripoor and its Executive Director Arch. Amir H. Amiri.

The KCG management team has expressed strong support for closer Iran-Nigeria industry cooperation and development of more trade between the two countries.

The plan to invest in Nigeria is not unconnected with the recent rebased GDP, which opened up sectors hitherto not accounted for.

The recent foreign investment campaign by the federal government through the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), the telecommunications industry regulator and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the agency charged with the responsibility of ICT implementation for Nigeria, is also part of the attraction.

Of late, the federal government took the nation's broadband campaign outside the shores of the country, wooing foreign investors to come to Nigeria to invest in its nationwide broadband rollout, as well as in other areas of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the country.

"We have been encouraged by the economic growth and fiscal management in Nigeria. KCG already has bases in Middle East and Europe, and we clearly see Nigeria as our entry point to the African continent," Jahangiripoor said.

He went on to add that "we are very impressed by the Federal Government's privatisation programs. In this respect we are very interested in the sale process for NITEL and the bridge banks. KCG is joining the NigerPars telecom consortium to bid for NITEL, and in August we shall have a specialist technical team visiting Nigeria in relation to the AMCON sale of the bridge banks."

KCG, through its primary locations in the Middle East and Gibraltar, has in several billions of Euros deployed in major investments, including hotels and resorts, aviation services, construction and civil engineering, as well as banking and finance. Nigeria will represent another major telecoms sector investment for the Group, Amiri said.

he also explained that KCG was already working with Dextel Nigeria Limited, to actualise the initial project portfolio for the West African projects under consideration.

A senior director of Dextel, after several discussions and planning meetings with the KCG team in Lagos this past week, stated that "the trend for close Iran-Nigeria private sector cooperation is now witnessing practical implementation of serious investment projects in Nigeria that will benefit our local economy, and potentially bring benefits throughout the West African region."

"We welcome the active presence and participation of Kouros Capital Group Limited to our shores and pledge our unalloyed support for their strategies and capital programs. The specialists that KCG is introducing will be able to undertake these potential projects in a systematic way, to world's best standards," he said.

Following the meetings of the Partners with some top tier Nigerian banks for commercial banking arrangements, KCG said it is poised to realise their investment objectives in Nigeria.

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