Pantami Lauds Airtel’s Commitment to Put Compliance over Profit
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The decision of the management of Airtel Nigeria to put compliance over profit despite being in business for the latter has excited the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Ali Pantami.
On Tuesday, Mr Segun Ogunsanya, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Africa Plc, the parent company of Airtel Nigeria, was at the office of the Minister.
He was there to introduce his successor, Mr Surendran Chemmenkotil, and to solicit the continuous support of the federal government for the company and the sector at large.
Mr Ogunsanya, who led Airtel Nigeria for over 9 years, was recently appointed the GCEO of Airtel Africa, which has operations in 14 African countries.
During the visit yesterday, Mr Ogunsanya expressed his profound appreciation to Mr Pantami for his support to him personally and Airtel Nigeria as a business.
“You have done a great deal to support our business and indeed the growth of the telecommunications industry and I pray for your continued success,” he told the Minister.
Responding, Mr Pantami said he was particularly impressed with the business model of Airtel Nigeria and praised Mr Ogunsanya for this, stating that in several interactions with himself as well as the Ministerial Committee, the Airtel Africa chief never hesitated in restating his commitment to compliance as a critical part of modern business.
According to the Minister, “much as we recognise the fact that investors are in business to make profit, it is also imperative for businesses to comply with the laws and regulations of the industry and I am delighted to say Airtel with the leadership of Mr Ogunsanya has done very well in this regard.”
However, he regretted the impact of the recent network shutdowns in parts of the north due to military operations, saying that it was a temporary measure to secure the country from banditry and insurgency.
He congratulated Mr Ogunsanya on his deserved elevation to the position of GCEO of Airtel Africa, stating that his record of consistent high performance and excellent leadership capabilities speak volumes.
Mr Pantami prayed for his success in his new position and welcomed the new CEO of the Nigerian operation to Nigeria, charging him to build on the remarkable record set by his predecessor.
The Minister also expressed his delight with the tremendous growth that the telecommunications industry has recorded with a resounding 17.5 per cent contribution to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the second half of 2021.