ByÂ Prince Osuagwu
After the annual General Meeting AGM of the Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria, ATCON at the Golden Gate Restaurants, Ikoyi Lagos, last week, the association officially ended the tenure of its past executives and held a fresh election for officers that would steer the ship of the association for the next two years.
At the end of the election, a veteran telecoms Engineer and Chief Executive of Telecom Answers Associates, Engr Titi Omo-Ettu emerged the new President of the association. Immediately he was announced winner, Hi-Tech cornered him and during the short question and answer period, Omo-Ettu opened up to some salient issues in the industry and the way his administration may handle them
Youâ€™ve just been elected President of ATCON now, what should we expect from ATCON during your Tenure?
I will soon put the little ideas I have across to my members and ask them what and what we should pursue and how. My personal take is that our Association must be relevant to its members, to our membersâ€™ customers and consumers of their services and products, to the regulator and also to Governments.
This, I think, we should do by communicating regularly with all those interests and work harmoniously with all of them. That is as far as my personal idea goes. As for the specifics, it will be democratically decided and I will implement the decision of my members.
Telephone operators are not members of your Association. So how do you carry them along?
I am not aware that telephone operators are not members of our association. What I know is that nobody joins an association simply because it exists. You join an association if you see profit in doing so. And everybody is free to choose the friends he associates with.
If those who are not our members today find profit in being members tomorrow, they will join the day after. Of course people have to also qualify to join our association. First you must be a telecommunications company and as time goes on you will find out that your processes may also have to be considered credible to find it pleasurable being with us.
How strong in terms of number is ATCON and how many telecom firms do we have in Nigeria?
I donâ€™t have the figure in my head. I know Telecom Answers Associates would have the figure in its database and if you put the question to them you will be advised.
The outgoing ATCON President, proposed and struggled to see that SIM Card registration is implemented in Nigeria. Right now it seems as if controversy is surrounding the issue. What is your view?
I donâ€™t have a view at this moment. I have my opinion and when I meet with my members very shortly we shall arrive at a consensus and push what the Association wants. The same for Sale of NITEL, Colocation, Taxes, Convergence, Tariff, Masts, Number portability, Communications Policy, Industry structure, and such other policies.
Where will you draw the line between the Titi Omo_Ettu we knew as an advocate of the masses and now a President of those who consumers love to hate, so to say?
It is like asking how one draws the line between the guy who plays No 8 in a football team and another who plays No 2. It is a matter of wing of play. The objective is the same. All of us are consumers one way or the other.Â But not all of us are service providers.
You are also an advocate of youth empowerment and development. How will that impact on this assignment?
The primary objective of our focus will be the interest of our members. But your interest is not assured until you take care of the interests of all society at large. So ATCON I imagine will be concerned with those things that I have canvassed in my firm and as a person. There are other members of ATCON who do more than I have done in this regard.