ntel CEO to interact with NITRA Come March 9
By Pelumi Olaleye
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of ntel, Mr. Ernest Akinlola, would be interacting with over 50 journalists under the aegis of the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA), on Friday, March 9.
Tagged: ‘Breakfast With The CEO.’ This is the March edition of NITRA’s monthly interactive programme with ICT companies’ CEOs.
Akinlola, became substantive MD last year September after the exit of his predecessor late Kamar Abass, ntel’s pioneer chief executive officer, was seen in some quarters as a test of his managerial expertise to turn around ntel and reposition the company for competition.
Described as a well-educated, widely-travelled and vastly experienced in the field of telecommunications, Akinlola holds a degree in economics, and is a Chartered Accountant and fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. He also holds an MBA from Manchester Business School, and has worked in pharmaceuticals, packaging and delivery, telecoms and consulting firms.
Recall that after several years of failed attempts to sell the Nigeria Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) to core investors by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the agency eventually sold NITEL to NatCom Development & Investment Limited, trading as ntel, in 2015, through a guided liquidation process, after the unbundling of the state-owned telecommunications firm.
ntel is currently live in three of Nigeria’s largest commercial cities: Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, there are already plans in motion to expand to more cities and meet its projected coverage of 85 per cent of mobile broadband spending within three years and about 95 per cent within five years.
Akinlola as head of department, led the assessment and subsequent launch of Virgin Mobile UK on the One 2 One network, which proved to be the pioneering Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) at the time.
He was an integral member of the team charged with executing Virgin Mobile’s $1.5 billion IPO. Many senior roles followed including leading the transformational roll out of T-Mobile’s store retail programme.
Akinlola was subsequently headhunted as COO by Lycamobile, the world’s largest international MVNO, to lead its European strategy, successfully expanding into 10 countries including UK, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and Spain within two years.
Following his notable successes in Europe, he focused on Nigeria’s telecoms sector and was approached to lead a major marketing drive for the former Etisalat, now 9mobile, the 4th entrant in a highly competitive telecoms market. As marketing director, he spearheaded a range of initiatives that took the former Etisalat from the fourth ranked operator to the second, in terms of Average Revenue Per User (ARPU).
With Akinola’s intimidating CV, Nitra chairman, Mr Emma Okonji says, “The NITRA Breakfast meeting with the CEO, therefore, offers Akinlola an excellent opportunity to showcase some of ntel’s achievements, challenges and plans for the year as well as how he plans to tackle the tasks ahead of him before the largest gathering of ICT journalists drawn from the print, electronic and online platforms”.