The Challenge Of Quality Of Service

Address by the Chairman, Engr, Gbenga Adebayo at the General Meeting held On Thursday 2nd August 2007 at 11.00 am, held at the Secretariat, 15th Floor, NECOM House, Marina Lagos


Members of the Board of Trustees Immediate past Chairman and Past Executive Members of ALTON Executive Committee Member Distinguished Members, I welcome you most sincerely to our fourth General Meeting. Please recall our last meeting held here on Thursday 24th May 2007 and my address on ‘The Challenge of Entrepreneur’, where I spoke about the industry, our progress and issues confronting us as Group. Please recall that emphasis was made on the issues and challenges of quality of service as well as the problems brought by the near collapse of public infrastructure such as power supply and security. The issues are still with us to a very large extent, but I will like to take this opportunity to commend and thank you all for the spirit exercised when we have been in the eye of the storm, as the consuming public which hang praises of operators in time past , called us names, saboteurs exploiters and all that. Again these are part of the challenges of entrepreneurship that I said in my address of May 24th. We have been taken to the authorities, and called upon to explain to a high powered National House of Representative Adhoc committee comprising of Law Makers representing different zones of the Country. The challenge for us is the same: We stated our case, we discussed our challenges, we enumerated our problems and we proffered solutions for the short and the long term to address all issues impacting on service delivery. We spoke and we spoke well, but I am not sure we were heard. Permit me to recall that during one of the sessions at the Adhoc House Committee meeting, we were practically treated as a people who do not have the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians in mind. We discussed problems of Energy, problems of security of Telecom Infrastructure, problems of damage to Optic Network, problems associated with community access, problems of multiple taxation, and problems of inability to install new sites in Abuja due to issues with the FCDA authorities: One of us, a representative of a member company, a Woman of substance, a Princess from the other side of the Niger, was practically made to apologise for expressing concern at the intelligent nature of those who vandalise sites and for expressing a regret that such knowledge and intelligence is not put into better use for the good of the country. This is just one instance of what transpired during the meeting. Ladies and Gentlemen, as Companies, we have spoken, and as a group we have expressed our concerns, but the fact of the matter remains that, the national energy problems which is not in the hands of Telecommunications operators remain a disgrace to us as a nation and a people. Insecurity of lives and properties remains a challenge that confronts all of us. The problems brought about by multiplicity of taxation and access difficulty by locals is still with us. Either we are heard or not, the Nigerian public can not take these facts as none existing. As operators, we are operating within the framework of the society, and so we are largely affected by the problems brought about by a failure of our value system as a people and breakdown of social infrastructure in our country. I will request that we issue a communiqué after this meeting to the general public on matters that continue to confront us as a group in other to keep the public abreast of our situation, and what may continue to affect the quality of service delivery. Dear Members, it is also important for us to address in-house the issue of capacity deployment and network planning. I am very well aware about the steps being taken by a Number of operators in this regard, but the reality of this present time is that our studies upon the basis of which expansion is planned is faulted by growing demand for telecommunications services: my message to us today will be to do more in providing more than enough capacity at all times. The public has condemned our members for offering promotional incentives, again, I have said it over and over that the spirit behind any promo is to give something back to the consumers and no operators does that without enough capacity to cope within. Unfortunately our consumers have proven us wrong and one will again request that we rewrite the formulas upon which we introduce incentives in order not to defeat the objectives that we are trying to achieve. This afternoon, I will also like us to re-examine our Case with the LAGOS State Government on LASIMRA: Now LASIMRA is coming to stop operators from working in Lagos state, and asking to revalidate all previous approvals granted for right-of-way. I recall that we are in court on the law establishing LASIMRA, and this house must direct on how to proceed on this subject. Finally, I want to thank you all for your support for the Association: We have been united more than ever before in a determination to improve on the quality of social life of our people by the provision of affordable telecommunications services. I thank my colleagues in EXCO for their relentless effort and unparallel support. Thank you and God Bless. Engr. Gbenga Adebayo Chairman Lagos 2nd August 2007

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