Monday, July 20, 2009

‘Multi-Links Telkom partnership timely‘

The Chief Corporate Affairs Officer of Multi-Links-Telkom Limited, Mrs. Ijeoma Abazie has said that the intervention of Telkom International in Multi-Links Nigeria was timely and had enabled the operator to extend coverage, improve rollout and management expertise, reports CHARLES OKOH.

Mrs. Abazie who disclosed these recently during a visit to Champion House, the corporate headquarters of Champion Newspapers Limited in Lagos, said the telco is working to reduce the percentage of foreign management expertise in the affairs of the company in order to beef-up local content.

“They provide management services as well as the technical support. It adds a lot of value because you know that Multi-Links was a pioneer in this industry in terms of telecom services and we have not gotten to where we should be because this business is capital intensive,” she said.

Pointing out that if Multi-links did not have the capital to rollout as much as it should to increase company footprints and coverage, the telco would be where it found itself before the takeover by Telkom.

“So, the key aspect that Telkom International has brought on board is something that will enable us extend coverage, rollout beyond before now, Lagos and Abuja and Port Harcourt and then in terms of management expertise as well,” she said.

She also said her appointment as the first Nigerian who would be taken on board as a chief of a department, is an indication that the management is working towards increasing local content.

“Going forward we do realize that we have to look seriously at the transfer of skill and begin to identify a pool of skills, local skills and talents, and begin to progress them up the ladder to take over from the non-nationals, who are in Multi-LinksTelkom Nigeria and all of that is being worked out and my appointment is one of the changes you will see in this direction,” Abazie said.

Speaking on the percentage of local staff on Multi-Links network, she disclosed that the telco has a staff strength of about 1136 of which 1041 of them are Nigerians (about 91.63 per cent) stating that it is in its best interest to reduce the percentage of foreign expertise as a way of saving cost.

“But we want to see a situation where at management level we have a lot more Nigerians and that is already on the pipeline for people to actually transfer the skills and head back to their previous duties as quickly as possible because it does cost a lot of money if you are top-heavy on expatriate” she said.

Accompanied by the corporate affairs manager, Mr. Abiodun Bayo, Mrs. Abazie, disclosed that Enugu and some parts of Anambra States are already enjoying the network.

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