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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Etisalat gets pioneer status

•As Reps applaud service

The fifth Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) operator, Etisalat Nigeria, has been granted pioneer status for its entry into the nation’s telecommunications market.

Even as the company has been commended for maintaining steady quality of service on its network.

Making this disclosure at the weekend during the visit of House Committee on Communication, the Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs at Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Ibrahim Dikko, said it was granted the status soon after the telco launched commercial operations in the country, last year.

He said that the pioneer status is necessary to enable the company to operate for some period with tax grace, more so in an environment like Nigeria, so as to enable investors to recover a little of their financial ventures, which usually are ploughed back into the market for further development of the network.

He also applauded the interest of the House committee in knowing whether the telecom operator has benefited from this, although he was not specific of how long the pioneer status would last.

According to him, it is critical to note that as a new operator, the company is not likely to make profits in the next three years.

“This is to encourage pioneers to come and invest in a country like Nigeria…. It is likely we are not going to make profit in the next three years,” he said.

Before now, ITRealms Online recalls that first entrants in this market were granted a five-year grace as pioneer status by the relevant government agencies, led by the Nigeria Import-Export Promotion Council.

Meanwhile, members of the House Committee on Communications, have commended Etisalat for the kind of quality of service it’s offering to Nigerians, mostly based on the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) recent key performance indicator.

They gave this commendation during a visit to Etisalat’s data centre in Lekki-Lagos, led by the committee chairman, Mr. Dave Salako.

ITRealms Online also recalls that the regulator, NCC had rated Etisalat as the number one GSM company in the country in terms of quality of service in the last published key performance indicator.

Speaking at the occasion, Salako expressed satisfaction at Etisalat’s outstanding quality of service as indicated by the NCC report and commended the company for the huge investment so far made in the country.

The committee also urged the company to continue giving Nigerians outstanding and qualitative service as a way of gaining competitive advantage.

While charging other GSM operators to wake up to the challenge posed by the rating through provision of good and quality service to Nigerians, Salako noted that this has become necessary to ensure that subscribers get value for their money by offering quality and friendly services.

Equally speaking, the chief executive officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Steve Evans, reaffirmed the company’s commitment to qualitative and world-class service for which it is known for in all the countries where Etisalat has operational presence.

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