Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Celtel FDI reaches N379bn, launches SME scheme

By end of this year, the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of the Pan-African Celtel Nigeria must have reached $3 billion, about N379 billion in the country, within its two years of operation.

Disclosing this at the launch of the telco’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) scheme in Lagos on Tuesday, the chief executive, Celtel Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of MTC Group, Mr. Adebayo Ligali, said that the mobile company targeted investment profile by December 31, 2007 would be about $3 billion.

“By the end of 2007, Celtel Nigeria, through our parent company, the MTC Group would have invested a total of $3 billion FDI in Nigeria in two years. The launch of this SMEs bundle pack today is yet another promise kept aimed at making life better for our customers,” he declared.

He also said that the features of the product for the SMEs involves a special number range like 0808 SME XXX has been made available in three Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards per park.

This, Celtel explained would enable SME to benefit from the friendly tariff plans structure to boost their growth and access to enjoy over 70 per cent discount on comprehensive motor insurance cover via public quoted Leadway Assurance Plc.

Mr. Ligali equally said that the bundle offer comes with entrepreneurship training opportunities, access to online SME directory as well as SME compact disc (CD) tool kit included to empower them knowledge-wise.

In addition, interested SMEs would have the opportunity to join the Celtel SME club Internet access and attend Celtel SME exhibitions, which would be sponsored by the telco.

Just as they have a dedicated first-rate customer care line available on 131* among others, which initial cost has been fixed at N3,600.

According to Mr. Ligali, the new product is aimed at empowering potential entrepreneurs to grow profitable businesses under the micro, small and medium enterprises scheme.

The special guest to the occasion and governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, represented by the state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Niyi Oyemade, commended Celtel for the SME initiative.

He noted that the initiative is coming at a time unemployment has assumed an exceptional height, even as he disclosed Lagos state government has begun a programme of empowering youths in gainful employment through its holiday job scheme.

Gov. Fashola also enjoined the telco to partner with the state government under the Public, Private Partnership (PPP) in “provision of social amenities through the construction of health facilities, renovation of schools within you Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) budget.”

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