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e-Business Will Drive the Industry in the Future-Ibekwe

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Information and Communications Technology (ICT) development has constituted a restriction on one side to courier business but the same ICT is actually throwing up a major opportunity of the future for the industry. Mike Chukwuemeka Ibekwe, chief executive officer of Suvex Delivery Service and financial secretary, Association of Nigerian Courier Operators (Anco) disclosed this to Nigeria Communications Week in his office recently. Ibekwe says the real future of the industry in Nigeria is e-business which is already being practiced abroad where someone can stay in his bedroom and order what he wants from anywhere. In this process, Ibekwe says the shop doesn’t deliver these items but the courier. "That is the business of the future and that is what will determine or drive the industry in the future. That aspect of the market is grossly underdeveloped in Nigeria but time will come when the market in Nigeria will be e-driven", Ibekwe predicted.

To improve the services of the courier industry, Ibekwe says it will take the will power of the government to fast track action on the postal reform bill believing that once that bill is passed into law and the commission set up that the commission will then be able to define standard and ethics of the profession as well as measure operators and those that don’t measure up to those standards as he suggested, may be given a time frame either to measure up or fold up or join with some others. In addition, there is need for public enlightenment as Ibekwe expects that customers should also know what his or her rights are to courier service as well as recognize his responsibilities too.

Ibekwe emphasizes the need for training in the courier industry arguing that courier is a peculiar industry where there is no university or institution that offers courier as a course underlying the fact that the industry is vague to some extent. Therefore, to get the real quality and service according to Ibekwe, the industry has to come up with clear cut training programmes and packages, processes and procedures, standards and expectations which each organization will be involved in. Ibekwe says Suvex Delivey Service which provides domestic and international courier services, haulage, consultancy, in-house mail management has its own customized approach to doing business which the company does not compromise no matter what. He defines Suvex Courier as a company that observes honesty, integrity, character, relationship, value for money and respect for their customers as the core values of the organization especially this time around when there are a lot of sharp practices in the industry. "People don’t honour promises or honour their words but we go to any extent to keep our promise", Ibekwe said.

Ibekwe identifies the customer as the king and the reason for the existence of Suvex Delivery Service even as he says that it is a sacrilege for the organization to do anything against their clients and that the firm goes any mile to ensure customer satisfaction. Professional and efficient delivery of service within the budget of the customer is some of the selling points of the organization. Ibekwe believes it is one thing to deliver service and another for the service to fall within the budget of what the customer can afford.

He talks of Anco as a young organization that is still coming up compared to most of other trade groups. He says the biggest challenge in the organizations is trying to mobilize people who don’t believe in themselves not to talk of believing in an organization. Ibekwe says the truth of the matter is that the courier industry cannot get to its zenith without a proper organization and that that is what Anco is trying to do with the help and support of the Courier Regulatory Department (CRD). According to him, the association is looking forward particularly when the industry will be sanitized, when it will have a legal frame work that properly defines what should be and what shouldn’t. "You have an independent umpire there setting the standard and a professional organization that understands, believes and is willing to take all it has into the industry. We will then have a room to operate. That is the future we are looking at but right now Anco is using moral persuasion and every means possible to convince, mobilize, encourage and galvanize the multitude of people that are licensed to operate courier in the country," Ibekwe said.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Confirmed: Teleology is New Owner of 9Mobile

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Mr Boye Onasanya, chief executive officer of 9Mobile, has confirmed that Teleology Holding is the preferred buyer of the telecommunication company.

 

This came as Barclays Africa, the financial adviser handling the sale of 9mobile, also transmitted an official letter to Teleology Holdings Limited, confirming it as the preferred bidder in the sale of 9mobile.

 

According to Olusanya, Teleology Holdings emerged the best bidder in the sale process, while Smile Telecoms Holdings is considered as reserved bidder if Teleology reneges on its bid for the multimillion-dollar company.

 

In a communication with members of staff, Olusanya said its lenders, presumably Barclays Africa, will now engage Teleology to finalise negotiations on the sale of the company.

 

“In line with my previous communications on the bid process, discussions and negotiations have put the board in a position to name Teleology Holdings as the preferred bidder for our company,” Olusanya said in the memo.

 

“The lenders will now engage Teleology Holdings to conclude other aspects of the negotiation and I will continue to provide updates as and when the milestone occur.”

 

The letter also directed Teleology Holdings to make a non-refundable cash deposit of $50 million within 21 days from the date of the letter, dated February 21, 2018, or lose the bid to the reserve bidder, Smile Holdings Limited.

 

Also yesterday, THISDAY, citing a source at Barclays Africa, said Teleology Holdings Limited has got a letter that served as the official document for the conclusion of the sale of 9mobile.

 

Although it has been reported that Teleology had been selected as the preferred bidder, but such reports were based on speculations, as Teleology had not earlier received any official document from both Barclays and 9mobile, and not even from the telecommunications industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

 

NCC had on February 1, 2018, clarified that it was yet to receive any information from Barclays Africa and 9mobile concerning the sale of 9mobile, and dismissed as speculations and reports making the rounds then, that Teleology had emerged as the preferred bidder.

 

The official letter signed by Barclays and transmitted to Teleology Wednesday, has, therefore, finally confirmed Teleology as the preferred bidder.

 

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NCC, Others Laud Airtel 4G Launch

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Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) and Senate Committee on Communications have commended Airtel Nigeria for launching its 4G LTE – aimed at providing fast and reliable internet for Nigerians.

 

Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, chairman of NCC, in his remark at a consumer launch event held recently in Ibadan, said Airtel’s upgrade and expansion to a 4G network in Ibadan will definitely improve telecommunications services and drive economic growth.

“NCC is happy to celebrate with Airtel on this milestone and on other efforts aimed at achieving robust and extensive network coverage in Nigeria. NCC has taken note of Airtel’s numerous giant strides towards the provision of good communication service – accelerating economic growth in our dear country,” he said.

 

Hon. Saheed Fijabi, Chairman, House Committee on Communications, National Assembly, commended Airtel for continuous innovation and commitment to improve telecommunication service in Nigeria. “Airtel has been one of the companies that have always been complying with local content. We believe Airtel has been doing well and we will continue to give them our support.”

 

Dr. Dan-Azumi Mohammed Ibrahim, director general, National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) also applauded the telco for its customer-centric offering; describing the launch of its 4G LTE has a timely revolution.

 

Chief Moses Alake Adeyemo, deputy governor of Oyo State hailed Airtel for deploying 4G in Ibadan, saying that he is glad that Airtel Nigeria has chosen Ibadan to pioneer the launch of its revolutionary 4G service.

 

Segun Ogunsanya, chief executive officer & managing director of Airtel Nigeria, while speaking during the event, said with the 4G launch, Airtel will power people, businesses and cultural advancement through technology in Ibadan.

 

“Airtel 4G will help drive growth, spread prosperity and empower the highly enterprising people of Ibadan to fulfill their potentials and realize their dreams.

 

“Our commitment is to deliver 4G Service that works to Nigerians as we will dramatically improve mobile Internet experience for telecoms consumers across the country.

 

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Medallion Expands Interconnect, Data Centre infrastructure to Enugu, Others

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Medallion Communications Limited said it is expanding its Interconnect and Data Centre infrastructure to Enugu, Port-Harcourt, Ibadan, Kano and Asaba in an effort to accommodate more service providers in other parts of Nigeria.

Ikechukwu Nnamani, Chief Executive Officer of Medallion, who disclosed this last week in Lagos said the expansion, which is in phases will help boost the experience of telecom users across the country.

“Apart from our Data Centre in Lagos and Abuja, we are also on the verge of expanding the infrastructure to other parts of the country,” he disclosed.

He noted that the expansion is majorly part of the company’s plan to fortify it in readiness for a possible surge that would be experienced by infrastructure companies as a result of the advocacy for local hosting of data and content.

“The biggest push we are making this year is to expand our available infrastructure and services to other regions so they can also participate and benefit. We believe that the moment you get content closer to the users, you achieve two things: better user experience at a faster and better rate and lowering the cost,” Ikechukwu noted.

According to him, Enugu and Port-Harcourt would start operations in the first quarter of 2018, while Ibadan, Kano and Asaba will be operational before the end of third quarter this year.

He argues that a lot of infrastructure is still domicile in Lagos, leaving other parts of the country less attractive in terms of telecom services. He believes that a win-win situation remains the best offer for the industry, saying the more the users across the country get benefit from the services, the more the service provider gets more profit.

Medallion’s expertise revolves round building and operating technologically advanced and secure neutral telecommunications infrastructure that enable the exchange of telecom traffic amongst the different operators in Nigeria.

Its carrier neutral Data Centre infrastructure is the most connected in Nigeria, with over 83 service providers, including International gateway/submarine cables, GSM operators, CDMA/LTE operators, Fixed line/fixed wireless, long distance providers, metro fiber providers, ISPs, VAS and other content providers.

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