Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Steven Evans, yesterday described the decision of one of the brand’s artiste, Afeez Oyetoro, popularly known as Saka, to dump its competitor and acclaimed “dominant operator,” MTN, as a “mistake.”

Evans disclosed this at an interactive session with reporters on Mobile Number Portability (MNP) at Raddison Blue Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. He said Saka’s decision was a mistake, arguing that it is not uncommon for people to make mistakes once in a while in life.

“Saka made a mistake. Sometimes in life, people make mistakes. He is still coming back,” he quipped without further explanation.

He was responding to a question bothering on whether the telco will re-examine its policy of not fully converting its artiste to brand ambassadors considering its experience with Saka.

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Sources close to the artiste alleged that his promoters had passionately appealed to Etisalat to convert him to its ‘brand ambassador’ after using him for the activation of several ad campaigns that recorded resounding successes but the mobile operator turned deaf ears to these appeals. The source said it made the suggestion to the telco several times without success, lamenting that rather than weigh the option on altar of reasoning, Etisalat preferred to pay him between N200,000 and N250,000 for each campaign and let him go.

The source said when MTN dangled the carrot of N20 million at Saka, he did not wait for any further consultation before jumping at the offer.

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Speaking on the milestones the telco has achieved as a result of the launch of the MNP in the country, Evans said several hundreds of subscribers have joined the Etisalat network because of the high quality of services and innovative products it offers its customers. Added to this is the lifting of the blanket ban the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) earlier placed on promotions and lotteries that ride on the network of all the operators. Etisalat and two other operators were recently given the clean bill of health to do promo and lotteries on the network. The CEO said the development has enhanced its subscriber growth tremendously, adding that Easycliq, its flagship product, now has between 8 and 9 million subscribers.

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He said the subscriber figures of Etisalat now oscillates between 15 and 16 million, adding that it has put in place infrastructure that will successfully accommodate 20 million subscribers without any hiccup. He disclosed that the telco was also investing massively on 3G to redefine end user experience in data services across the country.

Reeling out statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), he disclosed that in every department of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) set by the regulator, Etisalat overshot threshold.



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