This Day (Lagos)

27 September 2003

Nigeria: Adebayo Promises Tough Action Against GSM Operators

Lagos — The Minister of Communications, Chief Cornelius Adebayo, has promised to deal decisively with any GSM operator who takes the people and the nation for granted.

Speaking at a colourful Lagos launch of Globacom Mobile yesterday, Adebayo condemned the service being provided by some of the earlier operators said they should be warned since the government and the people would not be taken for a ride by any operator.

In his words, "Tell them they should not take us for granted. Nobody should take us for granted, including him (Adenuga)." He said any operator who tries to take Nigerians for a ride would face the anger of the Nigerian subscribers.

Still criticising the operators who launched before Globacom, Adebayo said the service they were providing when they first launched was better than what they are providing now.

Said the Minister, "Some of the earlier providers were better when they started than now."

And in a manner suggesting that he supported the September 19 switching off of phones embarked upon by many subscribers, Adebayo said that about a week ago, Nigerians engaged in an action to show that they would not be taken for granted further pointing out that if operators gang up against Nigerians, Nigerians would also gang up against operators.

Pointing out that the operators were putting profit making before service, he advised that "he who put the last first is not likely to enjoy it for long."

Commending the chairman and management of Globacom for quality service, the Minster who said, he has "had the pleasure of using 0805 longer than many of you" and disclosed that he used Globacom more than any other network" and stating that the voice clarity is commendable.

He stated that he was almost emotional at the launch and made a point for Nigerian content in the communication industry. "We are concerned about that indigenous concern in the industry. Nitel is Nigerian. Adenuga is no less a Nigerian," he stated.

Continuing, he said: "I am proud of Globacom. Iam sure the President of Nigeria is too." He advised the new GSM entrant that "It is the beginning of a big race. Your competition is not limited to this country alone but with the rest of the world."

Globacom Chairman, Dr. Mike Adenuga (Jnr) said the overriding motivation for coming into the telecomm business is the passion for the people. According to him it gladdens the hearts of the operator of the company to empower Nigerians. "It will give us enduring joy to see Nigerians talk to themselves."

He promised that "we will keep delivering service and we will deliver it very well." Service he further promised would be delivered using the very latest technology.

"The service delivery we have started, we will sustain. Not only that we will sustain it we are going to do everything possible to even surpass it. Everything Glo is going to do is going to be absolutely first class. Nigeria deserve the best and I can assure you, you will get the best," he stressed.

The Chairman, Board of Directors, Nitel, Dr. Aneze Chinwuba, who was also present at the occasion agreed with the Communication Minister that operators should not take subscribers for a ride adding that "we deserve good things in this country."

As far as Chinwuba was concerned, the protest by subscribers a Friday ago was just the beginning.

He pleaded with the Globacom management not to forget the eastern part of the country in its launch plan since the Igbo people are the biggest consumers of telephone airtime.

Representative of Alcatel, Globacom Technical Partners, Mr. Ety Fulkes remarked that the Globacom network is a very big telecom infrastructure for all Nigeria.

In building the Globacom network, he disclosed that there were more than 300 engineers with more than 30 different nationalities involved.

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