Thursday, March 20, 2008

Etisalat unveils fifth mobile phone network in Nigeria

Etisalat unveiled its new network last week, making it Nigeria's fifth mobile phone operator. Hakeem Bello-Osagie, chairman of Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services, or EMTS, owners of the license operated by Etisalat, said at the ceremony last Friday that Etisalat is expected to use a marketing strategy of reduced tariffs to take market share from established operators in Nigeria. Other operators are likely to follow suit, bringing the overall level of tariffs down.

EMTS, a Nigerian firm, entered into partnership with Mubadala Development Co. of the United Arab Emirates following Mubadala`s acquisition of a Unified Access License that includes a mobile phone license from the Nigerian government in January 2007 for $400 million. Etisalat has acquired a 40% stake in EMTS and operates the license in Nigeria.

Saoud Al Shamsi, Etisalat`s chief executive officer, said the company has built a network that spans the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Nigeria has more than 40 million mobile phone subscribers. Operators include MTN, Globacom, Celtel and Visafone.
(Source: Dow Jones Newswires)


Busola,  7:45 pm  

Belo Osagie is very determined sha.... I remember in 2000 or whenever it was when he went into the bidding with Mike Adenuga, MTN and the Econet ... He withdrew when the bid value became over 150 million dollars .... Now he is back and I hope they do well.

It is great to see Keem in public life... I have always been an admirer of his quiet approach to business ...

Anonymous,  1:56 am  

Ahh,I see say na the same old recylcing we still dey do for Naija! He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, that old rogue is still around. Not content with his failed 'wuruwuru' policies when he was in charge of some of Nigeria's kangaroo banks over the past two decades, he moves into telecoms, IBB-style.

At least the stolen money from Nigeria's public accounts are now staying in Nigeria. A few weeks ago, this man (He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named) was at the college where I teach (Princeton) to speak with some kids he sponsors (using money from you-guess-where!), and apparently when he was reminded by one of the kids that he was a bloody rogue, he wasn't too pleased.

Nigerians should brace themselves for more "GSM-that-never-works" madness soon! How many companies will rogue 'contracteeeeers' form? Arik Air, Etisalat?

How much money will they siphon off to form these rogue companies? Ans: Et is a lat!

Anonymous,  2:10 am  

is this the same belo osague that was the deputy to yahaya dikko under the shagari regime? Can anybody confirm whether this is the same man?

Anonymous,  6:42 pm  

Nigerians sha... Our bad belle is too much ... I went to Kings College with Hakeem and he is one of the few people in the world to have been educated at Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard before he was 25... So it is not a case that he is a fool or his father paid those schools to accept Hakeem...

Etisalat was created in 1976 and it has operated in the middle east region and so it isnt a rogue company that was created for Nigeria.. Yes, Hakeem's father was a gynaecologist and he gave birth to all the children of our heads of state from the shagari era to Babangida I think

Olukunle,  7:00 pm - I was at HBS when this guy came for our African Business Conference and he was impressive and he wanted to recruit some of us for his telecom venture ... this was in 2001 o... I wonder if the offer still stands!

He was not deputy to Yahaya Dikko ... He was just a special adviser like how Pat Utomi was special adviser to Ekwueme at that time...

Ms. Catwalq 3:49 pm  

men, and I thought it was bad enough seeing people walking around with four handsets on their person. Kai!

Ope,  6:36 pm  

why cant we stick to issues ? we should focus more about the advantages of having other gsm operators like Etisalat and Visafone which gives consumer options.. we should not focus on whether Belo Osagie is a "rogue" or not or use this as an opportunity to eulogise him.

As for anon 1.56 - I am objective here but from a simple google search, Etisalat is not a rogue company and it has operations in the Middle East.
Secondly, I dont think anyone accepts your premise that UBA is a "kangaroo bank". Thirdly,Belo Osagie became Chairman of UBA in the early 90s and I believe he stepped down in 2004 or 2005? How does that work out to 2 decades ?

Obrienjr 2:21 pm  

Praise be to God, finally our prayers have been answered, no more 'your number is not available,wuruwuru charges, disgraceful customer services',etc.

Etisalat i'm sure will make all our pains go away, why am i so confident you ask, well Belo Osagie is a winner, (check the banking industry)and am pretty sure that with Etisalat he will take the telecoms sector to the next level.

Once again i say praise be to the Lord for Etisalat.

'derin,  10:25 pm  

I dated keem way back in the '90's and I can tell you quite authoritatively that the guy has some serious issues stemming from a relationship with a polynesian woman that left him broken hearted.... okay, just kidding, still can't get over the dangote issue okay???? Jeremy!! I miss my daily fix!!!

'Yar Mama 1:23 am  

@anonymous, belo-osagie was Personal asst. to Yahaya Dikko when the latter was minister of petroleum resources. About EMTS, the more things change, the more they remain the same. The new boys will make all the right noises about bringing down tariffs, better service, more cell towers but however, the ordinary nigerians will somehow still be served the same cold dish of the worst mobile service probably in the whole of Africa!

Anonymous,  5:51 pm  

Nigerians, cheiii. I love my people. A man comes with a degree from an Ivy league school, and so he becomes a good man? So what he was educated at Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, etc? His (Bello-Osagie's) was perhaps the first name Ibori mentioned when he started to squeal. Osagie may be bringing good telecoms services to Nigeria, but let's not forget that this is not due to a genius of his - it's the state's money, returning this time to rob the people one last time with MTN-like services. And to the person who said UBA is not a kangaroo bank, it's not - it's just a bank of fraudsters, who are great at moving Nigerian money overseas, and that's what James Ibori accused Bello-Osagie of doing (see article below).

Osagie is another IBB, another Ibori, another Abacha, etc. Just another rogue who made a lot of money off the Nigerian state by a little mix-and-match-transfer-money-overseas business.

Read on from allafrica:

Indications emerged yesterday that President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua may have ordered the removal of the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Malam Nuhu Ribadu, from his position.

This is as LEADERSHIP was exclusively informed that six months ago, the United Nations Organisation offered Ribadu the post of assistant secretary-general in charge of drugs and narcotics, but he declined the offer, saying he preffered to pursue the anti-corruption war to its logical conclusion.

It is, however not clear now if he will consider the offer.

Media reports yesterday held that the inspector-general of police, Mr. Mike Okiro, had been directed by the Presidency to issue a memorandum to the EFCC chairman to proceed on a one-year course at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS), Kuru, Plateau State, a move believed to be an indirect way of removing him from office.

A source close to the presidency told our reporters last night that the action of the presidency was a culmination of the battle of supremacy between the attorney general of the federation, Mr Michael Aondoakaa, and Ribadu.

Aondoakaa had consistentently disagreed with Ribadu over the power of the commission to prosecute alleged corrupt former and serving public officials. He insisted the statutory power to prosecute or discontinue a case solely resided with the attorney general.

But Okiro, in a swift reaction at a news conference yesterday, dismissed suggestions that the compulsory study leave was intended to ease Ribadu out of office but rather to "increase his proficiency."

Okiro debunked claims in some quarters that it was intended to stop the prosecution of some high profile corrupt public officers and explained that it was a routine training programme for certain public officers aimed at enhancing their performance.

He maintained that it was neither a witch-hunt nor a plot to slow down the war against former and serving public officers.

The police chief explained that sending eligible officers on course was a normal routine in every service, "the police inclusive."

He said, "Sending police officers on such courses is to their own advantage, development and for the benefit of the force."

According to Okiro, the criteria for sending officers on course are for their own advantage, development, and for the benefit of the force.

He said the criteria for sending officers on course as contained in NIPSS are as follows: the officer must not be less than 40 years of age, the officer must be a graduate from a recognised university, the officer must have more than five years to retire from service and that the officer must not be less than a permanent secretary in the state civil service or director in the federal civil service or a colonel in the military or its equivalent in the para-military services.

The IGP revealed that seven participants from the police have been slated to attend the forthcoming course at NIPSS and AIG Nuhu Ribadu is the second on the list based on seniority and the above guidelines, adding that Ribadu was nominated to attend the course. He stressed that he was not being sent on course for any ulterior motive other than the reasons given.

He advised the general public to discountenance the report as it contained half-truth, deliberately woven by the reporter and his ilk, without making any effort to verify it from the police.

The EFCC Act does not expressly permit the president or the IGP to send the chairman of the commission on compulsory study leave or remove him except on verifiable grounds.LEADERSHIP gathered that Ribadu's removal was part of a grand plan to whittle down the powers of the commission which some within and outside the government consider too much.

Ribadu in recent times had renewed his onslaught on former public officers alleged to have corruptly enriched themselves while in office.

The latest was the former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, who is believed to be close to Okiro.

According to a source, Okiro, who is Ribadu's boss planned to withdraw most of the policemen working in the EFCC if the latter refused to proceed to NIPSS for the one-year course.

Police officers and men account for 80% of the commission's staff.

Before yesterday's development, Ribadu's next target, according to our source, were Dr Peter Odili and Alhaji Ahmad Sani Yarima, former governors of Rivers and Zamfara States respectively.

Relevant Links

West Africa
Legal and Judicial Affairs

Meanwhile, LEADERSHIP scooped yesterday that former governor Ibori of Delta State, who is facing charges of corruption and money laundering, has started singing.

Our reporter gathered that the former governor has implicated some banks, including Oceanic, UBA and Intercontinental as some of the banks used in milking the state dry.

Specifically, Ibori, according to the EFCC source, implicated former chairman of United Bank for Africa, Mr. Hakeem Bello-Osagie.

Ladi,  12:11 pm  

@ anon 5.51pm - Why the epistle to prove your point? Na so me sef see ur intro sey Belo Osagie indicted & I come run go saharareporters website to go and read the EFCC charges against the Ibori..

The banks that were overwhelmingly indicted as they were frequently used were Oceanic and GTB.. UBA was not even mentioned until count 25 or so and it had to do with loans given to Ibori's company in 2006 by which time Belo Osagie was not even on the board of UBA...

Then I read the smallprint in your epistle and realised that All Africa got the story from Leadership Newspaper... that is like quoting the News of the World on a serious issue. Waste of my time!!

Anonymous,  6:14 pm  

@ladi, continue sticking your head in the ground like an ostrich.

What Osagie has that Abacha, IBB and OBJ before him did not is education.

Anonymous,  1:13 am  

I am fascinated to know that Jeremy is actually a foreigner and not a Nigerian. Yet he has done so much to portray Nigeria positively, whichever way you look at it. Interesting!

Anonymous,  6:23 pm  

All these na yarn! I beg make una point me to the lagos office for etosalat so dat I fit get my free sim for the number wey I reserve. Very soon the telecom MEN will be separated from the telecom boys! chikena!!

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