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Nigeria’s President approves $2.5b sale of NITEL

President Goodluck Jonathan

Nigeria’s president has approved the sale of the struggling state-run telephone company to a consortium of other companies for $2.5 billion — a price analysts have suggested may be far too high.

President Goodluck Jonathan’s decision, announced Tuesday by a government agency overlooking the sale, is the latest attempt for Africa’s most populous nation to offload the failing Nigerian Telecommunications Ltd.

A government statement said the winning group, known as the New Generation Telecommunications Consortium, must pay a security bid of $750 million.

But mystery surrounds its bid as China-based Unicom Ltd., which is supposedly a major force in the group, denied involvement.