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Airtel CEO encourages other States to emulate Lagos Example of Collaboration on Telco Infrastructure

By Uche Peter

Lagos, Nigeria; February 3, 2014: Following the recent signing of a pact on installation, roll-out and deployment of telecommunications infrastructure by the Lagos State Government, the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology and Association of Licenced Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya has called on other states of the federation to follow suit.

The Airtel boss who made the call while fielding questions during a recent media chat in Lagos said the landmark agreement was long overdue in the face of the pressing need for improvement in quality of service.

His words, “The Lagos State Government has demonstrated the willingness and readiness to support Telco operators in the quest for optimized Quality of Service and it is such collaboration that yields maximum results for the benefit of all stakeholders. Lagos can be the perfect example of collaboration for others to emulate; if they can take a cue from Lagos State and support the operators to service the consumers, that would be good for the operators, the industry, our customers and Government itself.”

On what the pact holds for Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Ogunsanya said it would pave way for more collaboration, while adding that it would be reciprocated with improved quality of service.

He said, “I am happy about what has happened. We are going to reciprocate the good gesture with additional services.”

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) would enable the installation, rollout and deployment of Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) and Fibre Optic Cables (FOC) in Lagos State without constraints or hiccups usually bothering on Right of Way (RoW) as well as multiple taxation, frequent fibre cut and vandalism.

Speaking further, Mr. Ogunsanya allayed fears of loss of jobs following moves by telecoms operators to sell off tower sites. According to him, the exercise would better position the operators for desired quality of service.

“It is the global trend to sell off towers, and the operators here are not exempted from this. It is not outsourcing. What we are looking at is to allow operators concentrate on their core competences and allow those who are better equipped professionally to manage the towers. The telecoms business eco-system is growing a wide value-chain with Nigerians at the epicenter. So more jobs would be created rather than lost, given that the new owners will definitely like to grow their businesses,” he said.

Mr. Ogunsanya also hinted on on-going talks between Airtel Nigeria and some power distribution companies in a bid to address the challenge of power supply.

“We have been contacted over a possible collaboration on power optimization. We are very much interested in working out something. We want to make sure the value we get from this cooperation is translated to improved quality of service,”.