The minister who was accompanied by a five-man team from the Ministry of Communications as well as the acting DG of NITDA, Dr. Vincent Olatunji was received at the Data Center/Cable Landing Station by Dr. Tunde Ayeni, Chairman NatCom, Kamar Abass MD ntel and senior members of the ntel management team.
Barrister Adebayo Shittu who was conducted round the multi-million dollar Tier III Data Center, expressed delight at the transformation of the moribund NiTel facilities.
Speaking while inspecting the Data Center, he 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.”
Responding to the Minister, Dr. Tunde Ayeni, Chairman of NatCom 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.”
Kamar 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.”
The Minister who promised to look into the issue said “my duty as Minister is to make myself available to support every business. We do not discriminate because we exist to support private enterprise.”
ntel is Nigeria’s most advanced mobile 4G/LTE advanced network providing superfast Internet Access that enables high-definition voice, data and video services. ntel’s network is built on the 900/1800 Mhz frequency bands which are the best propagation frequencies for the deployment of 4G/LTE technology.
ntel’s bouquet of services includes: National Bandwidth; International Voice Termination, International Bandwidth; Mobile and Fixed Communications services.
The company made its first on-net test data call in Lagos on Monday January 18, 2016 then followed this up with its first on-net Voice over LTE (VoLTE) call in Lagos on Thursday February 25, 2016 while network rollout was announced on Friday April 8, 2016.