Telcom giant, Airtel Nigeria, on Wednesday, said President Bola Tinubu’s economic policy reforms, especially the unification of the exchange rate, eased its planning and operations within Nigeria.
The Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Africa, Segun Ogunsanya, revealed this after he paid a courtesy call on the President at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
Ogunsanya noted that although the company still grappled with FX challenges, the policy had eased its business within the past seven months.
“We had massive issues with FX liquidity, we still have some issues with FX liquidity, but at least slightly more predictable than it was a couple of months ago.
“It makes it easier for us to do better planning. We’re not out of the woods yet, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel; we can do better planning,” he told State House Correspondents at the Villa.
Airtel the oldest telcommunications company operating in Nigeria, began operations in August 2001 as Econet Nigeria after it was awarded Digital Mobile Licence for communication service.
Ogunsanya, who retires from office in June 2024, revealed that Airtel was setting up one of Africa’s largest data centres in Nigeria.
He said siting the mega data centre in Nigeria would serve other big businesses and some multinationals, adding that the land had been procured and the groundbreaking ceremony would be in a few weeks.
“We’re always expanding our business; we’re always investing in the country. We’re going to set up a new data center in the country.
“We’ve already bought the land; we’ll be breaking ground very soon; it’s going to be one of the largest data centers in Africa that we will put in Nigeria.
“It’s going to be one of the largest in Africa; it’s going to serve all the big multinationals in the country and some of the foreign companies. It’s actually one of the largest in Africa,” he noted.
Asked how much the project would cost, Ogunsanya said, “We’re not talking about the money for now because we’ve not done the final budgeting.
“We’ve got the land, we’ve got the consultants, and we’re going to break ground in another few weeks.”
On the purpose of his visit, the Airtel executive said, “I just came to share my appreciation with His Excellency for a very conducive environment for our business. If you recollect, about six, seven months ago, I came to see His Excellency to discuss the operations environment for our business and a few things were changed; they’ve worked very well for us.”