Airtel boss hails El-Rufai’s ‘courage despite very difficult circumstances’



The Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Olusegun Ogunsanya, has hailed Kaduna State Governor Nasir el- Rufai’s courage in the face of difficulties.

Newsdiaryonline learnt that he made the comment during the signing of MoU between Kaduna State Government and Airtel Nigeria Ltd, on Broadband Access, on 18th June,2021.

“I know you’ve taken some tough decisions, you inspire so many of us and I admire your courage despite the very difficult circumstances sir”,Ogunsanye said.

Newsdiaryonline obtained more excerpts of the Airtel ’ remarks during the event where he said, “Your Excellency, once more thank you so much for the opportunity. It’s right for me to begin my short remarks by commending you for the excellent leadership and for all the great things you’ve done and you’re doing for Kaduna. I commend you sir for the courage in handling very difficult issues, many difficult issues and not sacrificing your very core principles at the expense of mass popularity. ..

“Time will not permit me to list all the good things that you’re doing and I’m sure posterity will judge you for all the nice things you’re doing in Kaduna State…you keep your promises. Your state as we can see from all of us in meeting, is a mini Nigeria, everyone is welcome in Kaduna State. 

“I am so excited every time I talk about Kaduna State…. is our vision of a Nigeria where no matter where you come from, you’re welcome, you’re of governance, you’re of the citizenry. I don’t think we can mention anything more than what we see in Kaduna State. It makes us to see how welcoming Kaduna State is, it’s a place I really think we can turn Nigeria into. We’re also very proud of our partnership with Kaduna State.

Recalling his earlier encounters, he said, “It looked like yesterday sir, you  and I commissioned the school(Yahaya Hamza Primary School) in Zaria. As I’m talking to you , we’re actually plans to return to the school, we want to refurbish the school again. It was 4 years ago we came, turned everything new, but I think some of the things are falling apart. We’re going to go back year, refurbish, grade the teachers again, and make that school look very new again. 

“We’re also creating opportunities for people in Kaduna State, we got a number of red shops, we got mini shops, they’re rest assured that we open, we paint them red and we give them to those who run them on our  behalf, money for themselves and creating livelihoods for so many other people. I personally buy into your vision of creating a new Kaduna State. 

 Speaking on the broadband partnership, Ogunsanya said “I believe that broad brand is a universal human right, it should not be denied to anyone. It bridges the gap between prosperity and poverty. It lifts so many people of poverty. So many studies been done. Some say that for every one or two percentage increase in broad brand penetration, you can actually increase your GDP by 10%. It’s been proven in so many places. You can sit in the corner of your room, sell things to the wide world. You can get it information, you can get the best prizes available. So for me, it’s as good as connecting electricity or water, it’s a utility. 

“Some of us who live in urban areas we take it for granted, but sir if this can be given to every household in Kaduna, in Zaria, in everywhere, we’ll be lifting so many people of poverty.  So I don’t want this a very long speech and I’m still going to come to Kaduna I come back, before I finally leave for Nairobi where I’m going to be based, but I must thank you again for your friendship sir and for everything you’ve done our business prosper in your state. 

“Thank you so much sir, thank you everyone. I really look forward to this partnership and I can assure you, I and my team, we will make it sir. Thank you.”

Ogunsanye, was at the helm of affairs at Airtel Nigeria Ltd from January 2013 to 2021. Before joining  Airtel,he was the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer Coca-Cola Hellenic, Nigeria(Nigerian Bottling Company),Managing Director/CEO Coca-Cola Sabco Kenya and Chief Executive/General Manager Coca-Cola Ghana.  Once again, the tour of duty has taken Ogunsanye to Kenya,as CEO Airtel Africa.