Jonathan Endorses Airtel, Says Firm will re-energize Telecom Industry


Abuja, Nigeria– 26 November 2010 :  The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has endorsed the newly unveiled Airtel brand by global telecommunication giant, Bharti Airtel, expressing hope that the company will reignite competition in the market.

The nation's number citizen also congratulated the mobile operator for the successful evolution from the Zain brand to Airtel, urging the company to usher in a new wave of excitement through the creation of additional jobs for Nigerians and offering of more affordable telecoms products and services for every consumer.

The president, who received an Airtel team comprising Chairman of Bharti Enterprises, Sunil Mittal, Chairman of Airtel Nigeria, Dr. Oba Otudeko, Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Rajan Swaroop and High Commissioner of India to Nigeria, Mahesh Sachdev at the Presidential Villa, Abuja and also delivered the message at the official launch of the Airtel Brand in Abuja, expressed the willingness of the government to create business friendly environment for companies operating in the country. He charged the company to draw from his broad experience from operating in 19 countries across Asia and Africa to propel the telecom industry to greater height.

He expressed joy at the decision of the management of Airtel to commence the brand reveal in the 16 countries in which the telecommunication company operates in Africa in Abuja, adding that he believes the action is indicative of the value the company places on Nigeria. 

Jonathan who was represented by the Minister of Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili also urged Airtel to expand its operations into rural areas and communities, adding that the company should increase its investment in Nigeria as this will help reduce unemployment.

With the unveiling of the new brand identity, Airtel becomes the master brand for all the group's 19 operations in Asia and Africa covering over 200 million customers.  In Africa, Airtel replaces the Zain brand and comes with the promise of delivering high quality customer benefits through the power of global Airtel brand. 

Also speaking at the occasion, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharti, said:  "Bharti began its African journey by promising to deliver world-class and affordable mobile services to customers and delighting them with innovative products.  I believe we are taking a major step towards delivering on this by introducing the heart of our business - the Airtel brand - across our operations in Africa.  Our African customers will now be able to enjoy the same best-in-class brand experience as our customers across India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.  

He further added:  “We remain committed to taking our network deeper into Africa, ensuring our services touch the common man and bridge the digital divide in the continent.  I am confident that over the coming years Airtel will win the hearts of customers across Africa and emerge as one of most admired brands of the continent.”

Also speaking at the function, Chairman of Airtel Nigeria, Dr. Oba Otudeko assured telecoms consumers across that the rebranding will be the last rebranding exercise the company will undergo, saying that the Airtel Brand has come to stay in Nigeria.

“We have undergone multiple transitions and I perfectly understand our history, but this time around, the Airtel brand is here to stay in Nigeria. This is our final bus stop. Never again shall we invite the press or general public for another rebranding,” said Otudeko.


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