by Alexander O. Onukwue
Changes in management and company structure usually call for revisions in strategy and focus. It is sure to happen with 9Mobile, giving the financial commitments it will have to shed to stay competitive and relevant in the Nigerian market after its debt problems.
Besides cutting down on its budgets for advertising – which means we may see less of Francis Odega – what services and products will be stepped down going forward?
THE PRIZE FOR LITERATURE
Perhaps the most prestigious African Prize for first-time non-fiction writers, the Etisalat Prize made a name for itself as a reputable and credible reward for literary works. Though sponsored by the Nigerian company, it had never been won by a Nigerian since its inception in 2013. The prize for this year went to Jowhor Ile for ‘And After Many Days’. Among the three nominees was another Nigerian, Julie Iromuanya for ‘Mr and Mrs Doctor’. Would it not be a shame to see this stopped?
FAVOURABLE DATA TARIFFS
It was not so different from what other telcos offered but there is the feeling that Etisalat was a bit more transparent on its data charges. This will probably be the biggest casualty of the revisions to be made; the NCC should be ready to receive customer complaints.
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Etisalat’s Fight Malaria Initiative aimed at reducing the scourge of malaria in the country, by providing avenues that would cut down on “about 250 million malaria cases and nearly one million deaths which put about 3.3 billion people (half of the world’s population) at risk of malaria”. There was also the Adopt a School Initiative which involved a partnership with the Lagos State Government “to bring about sustainable change and development to public primary and secondary schools in the state, by adopting three schools in Lagos State for life – Akande Dahunsi Memorial High School, Ikoyi; Edward Blyden Primary School, Lagos Island; and Rabiatu Thompson Primary School, Surulere”, according to information on the Etisalat Nigeria website.
Etisalat was not only youth-centric, but it seemed to have a focus on children too. There was the click lite package for school students between 8 and 15 years, designed as a study companion to motivate and promote digital learning.
And, were these to be affected, will the staff behind these services be shown the door too?