Communication minister visits ntel, delighted by transformation of moribund NiTel

Adebayo Shittu flanked by Tunde Ayeni (left) and Kamar Abass, when the minister paid a courtesy visit and registered his SIM on the network

NatCom Development and Investment Limited – trading as ntel – the company that acquired the core assets of NiTel/MTel, on Monday played host to Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, at its Tier III data centre in Lagos.

The minister, who was accompanied by a five-man team from the Ministry of Communications as well as the acting DG of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Vincent Olatunji, was received at the Data Center/Cable Landing Station by NatCom Chairman, Dr. Tunde Ayeni, ntel MD, Kamar Abass and senior members of the ntel management team.

Shittu, who was conducted round the multi-million dollar Tier III Data Center, expressed delight at the transformation of the moribund NiTel facilities.

Speaking during the inspection, Shittu said, “I am happy that a Nigerian company with local funds has done this. Government is appreciative of what you have done. I want to congratulate ntel on the huge investment made to revive NiTel. People need to know about the huge investment you have made and I hope that my visit will help in that regard.”

Ayeni thanked the minister for visiting and supporting ntel while promising that “we will try our best to create competition in the market and create more opportunities for Nigerians.”

Abass, who spoke after overseeing the minister’s SIM registration on the network said, “thank you for spending such a significant amount of time with us hours after your arrival from a long trip.”

Abass then added a plea for the minister to intervene in the process of obtaining foreign exchange for purchasing telecom equipment.

“We are proud that we have used predominantly Nigerian labour and personnel but our equipment all come from abroad and this entails spending tens of millions of dollars.

We, as a telecom company, are not on the list of those who can access forex, so it is a real struggle to pay for these items. We need some flexibility on the part of CBN,” he pleaded.

Shittu promised to look into the issue, saying “my duty as minister is to make myself available to support every business. We do not discriminate because we exist to support private enterprise.”