As Airtel Nigeria commemorates its 10th year anniversary, Segun Ogunsanya, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company, has expressed profound appreciation to Nigerians for their unflinching support for and loyalty to the network.
Mr Ogunsanya also announced that Airtel Nigeria, as part of activities marking a decade of doing successful business in Nigeria, would be spending N300m to support the fight against COVID-19, being the final part of the N1.9 billion the mobile telecommunications company pledged last April at the early stages of the pandemic.
He explained that N200 million would be invested in refurbishing and equipping a 4-storey admission facility for the use of Specialist Units in the Department of Medicine at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH); N50m to Lagos State Government to procure Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for Lagos State Health Workers and N50 million for the procurement of a Molecular Laboratory to be provided by 54 Gene with the capacity for 300 tests per day for Ogun State.
Ogunsanya expressed the gratitude of the board, management and staff of the organization to stakeholders in the telecommunications industry ‘especially our customers for standing by the company and designating it as the telecoms brand of choice over the years.’
He noted that the 10-year milestone would not have been possible without the custom and support of its over 50 million loyal and passionate customers.
According to him, Airtel has succeeded because Nigerians truly believe in the brand and have come to accept the company as an important stakeholder firmly committed to growing the economy, providing jobs and creating platforms and opportunities to empower more Nigerians both young and old.
The CEO of Airtel also commended the Hon Minster of Communications and Digital Economy, Mallam Isa Ali Pantami, and the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Danbatta, and other regulators for providing leadership and vision in the industry. He hoped that recent push by government to make telecommunications facilities Critical National Infrastructure (CNI), which the telecommunications operators have been seeking for, will crystalize into a law soon to safeguard telecommunications infrastructure in the country.
Reflecting on the 10-year milestone, Ogunsanya stated: ‘Airtel acquired Zain in June 2010 and rebranded as Airtel in November, 2010. Over time, we have remained committed to our singular vision of empowering Nigerians and enriching lives. I am proud of what we have achieved together and, from the bottom of my heart, I thank every stakeholder (employees, customers, investors, partners, media, regulators, governments and others) for making this dream come true.’
Ogunsanya pledged that Airtel would continue to be a force for good in the country, providing excellent communication services whilst supporting the various communities under its corporate social responsibility activities.
Lagos State Government, Ogun State Government and LUTH have all expressed their profound appreciation to Airtel for the donations.
The Chief Medical Director of LUTH, Professor Chris Bode, commended Airtel for partnering the institution in the fight to contain the dreaded novel coronavirus.
He said: ‘We thank Airtel for its generosity and support at a critical time when the entire world is battling to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. I am particularly pleased with this support because of the eagerness and willingness of Airtel to support us at this time. The company is not just offering financial resources but is deeply concerned and following through on this important journey of ensuring adequate care for Nigerians who have contracted the virus. The gesture, I believe, will inspire other corporate organisations to invest some of their earnings in building a healthcare sector that will be strong and resilient enough to cope and manage emergencies and pandemics like COVID-19. I salute Airtel for its compassion and caring disposition,’ he said.
Commending Airtel for its support to Ogun State, the Governor of the State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, said: ‘I wish to express our profound appreciation to your organization for magnanimously offering to support the efforts of Ogun State Government to contain the spread of COVID-19 with the procurement of a State-owned Molecular Laboratory.
‘It is widely believed that the war against coronavirus could only be fought and won by aggressive testing, hence, your support will go a long way in ensuring that the State can provide continued testing for her citizenry while also building our capacity for a sustainable testing regime,’ he stated.
Acknowledging Airtel’s contribution towards the provision of PPE for health workers in Lagos, the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, expressed appreciation to Airtel Nigeria for standing to be counted during this uncertain and critical period just as he reiterated his administration’s commitment to fighting the pandemic as well as mitigating the impact on the good people of Lagos State.
Sanwo-Olu recalled that Airtel Nigeria employees were the first employee group to make a donation of N20 million from their personal contributions which, to him, was a highly thoughtful and commendable gesture worthy of emulation.
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On the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria, the Airtel Nigeria CEO stated that the company had already committed various amounts and support in kind covering donations to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the Federal Ministry of Health and Port Health Authority as well as free Short Message Service (SMS) to its customers, a media awareness campaign, toll-free lines and zero-rated access to important health and educational sites.
Ogunsanya restated Airtel’s commitment to doing business in Nigeria. In his words, ‘Airtel is here to stay. We are truly global in our orientation but Nigerian in operation with some of the best Nigerians in the leadership team driving both the aggressive growth of the business and the continuous improvements in customer experience.’
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