Monday, March 02, 2009

Senate commends Etisalat on innovative services

Upper house of the National Assembly (NA), the Senate has commended the fifth Global System for Mobile communications (GSM), Etisalat Nigeria, for rolling out innovative services in the country.

This commendation was made through the chairman, Senate Committee on Communication, Senator Sylvester Anyanwu, who led the committee members on facility tour of Etisalat data centres in Lagos, on Friday, last weekend.

Addressing newsmen at the conclusion of the facility tour, Senator Anyanwu said, despite that Etisalat came in late in the Nigeria’s GSM market, the operator is on the right track.

“I believe that Etisalat is on the right track with its new set of innovative services,” he asserted, stressing that his committee is excited with the telco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative, mostly because it focuses on education.

He also charged operators in the country to be more proactive in introducing innovative services that would engender growth of data rather than mere voice.
Anyanwu noted that his team has been briefed by the management of Etisalat led by the chief executive officer, Mr. Steven Evans.

“We have heard them (Etisalat) and we intend to go back and see what could be done at all levels of government to ensure that the likes of double taxation is stopped,” he said.

Pointing out that if Nigerians and communities want services to improve, “we must provide sites for them (operators) to erect their base stations.”

Nigerians, he said, have roles to play and called on the states and local governments to find a way of eschewing double taxation.

Etisalat, Senator Anyanwu, noted, is now running its operations on about 40 per cent public power supply, which further reduce the cost of operations.

He outlined power and security as amounting to about 30 per cent of total cost of service delivery in the telecommunications sector in the country.

Nigeria, he said, has to do a lot of catch up so as to meet up the rest of the world because innovative products are being introduced almost on daily basis.

In his earlier comment, the chief executive officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Steven Evans, said his company has a very bright future in the country although it came late in the market, noting that Etisalat has 16 operations, which are mainly in the Middle East and Africa.

He further commended the employees of the company for being steadfast, saying that they are the reason for the current growth of the company, even as they intend to roll out to cover more localities nationwide within the shortest possible time, but is building infrastructure extensively.

Evans applauded the Senate Committee for making the visit to Etisalat, while hoping that a better future await Nigerians.

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