Ernest-Akinlola, Managing Director/Chief Executive ntel

Emma Okonji

The Nigeria Information Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA), operating under the supervision of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, will tomorrow, play host to the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of ntel, Mr. Ernest Akinlola, in the March edition of its monthly interactive programme with ICT companies’ CEOs tagged ‘Breakfast With The CEO.’

Akinlola is expected to speak on the rollout of the company’s 4G LTE technology and how customers would benefit more from the technology that is characterised with high speed connectivity for both data and voice.
After several years of failed attempts to sell the Nigeria Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) to core investors by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the agency eventually sold NITEL to NatCom Development & Investment Limited, trading as ntel, in 2015, through a guided liquidation process, after the unbundling of the state-owned telecommunications firm.

Touted as Nigeria’s most revolutionary telecommunications company which provides 4G LTE Advanced network, that delivers superfast call-connect times, crystal clear Voice over LTE and extraordinarily high Internet access speed, ntel at inception aimed to redefine the Nigerian telecommunications landscape and enrich the lives of Nigerians by delivering the most advanced communications technology across the largest possible network coverage in the most effective, valuable and satisfying manner.

Although ntel is currently live in three of Nigeria’s largest commercial cities: Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, there are already plans in motion to expand to more cities and meet its projected coverage of 85 per cent of mobile broadband spending within three years and about 95 per cent within five years.
Akinlola’s appointment late September 2017, to succeed Kamar Abass, ntel’s pioneer chief executive officer, was seen in some quarters as a test of his managerial expertise to turn around ntel and reposition the company for competition.

Described as a well-educated, widely-travelled and vastly experienced in the field of telecommunications, Akinlola holds a degree in economics and is a Chartered Accountant and fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. He also holds an MBA from Manchester Business School, and has worked in pharmaceuticals, packaging and delivery, telecoms and consulting firms.

Akinlola as head of department, led the assessment and subsequent launch of Virgin Mobile UK on the One 2 One network, which proved to be the pioneering Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) at the time.
Following One 2 One’s acquisition by T-Mobile, Akinlola was a key member on the integration team, leading on commercial strategy and growing the wholesale side of the business to launch several MVNO’s focused on specific customer segments.

He was an integral member of the team charged with executing Virgin Mobile’s $1.5 billion initial public offering (IPO). Many senior roles followed including leading the transformational roll out of T-Mobile’s store retail programme.