Globacom, the second-largest telecoms operator in Nigeria by subscriber number and market share, has signed a deal with Eutelsat of France for satellite deployment in the Nigerian market.
The business deal, which was signed between the two companies at the Elysee Palace in Paris recently, was witnessed by the French President, Mr. Emmanuel Macron.
The Chairman of Globacom, Chief Mike Adenuga, signed on behalf of Globacom, while Eutelsat CEO, Rodolphe Belmer, signed on behalf of Eutelsat of France.
The partnership deal is coming at a time when the federal government has approved the rollout of the 5G network in Nigeria, which will boost internet connectivity in urban and rural communities.
The partnership between the two companies is expected to enhance the deployment of 500 Wi-Fi relay stations to far-flung rural areas, for connection to a Eutelsat satellite.
Likewise, French group, Vocalcom, which already manages the software for Glo telecom’s call centres in Nigeria, is hoping to open a new deal in the mobile-money sphere with Globacom.
According to Adenuga, his franchise’s relationship with the French telecoms giant has been a long and extremely beneficial one.
“The genesis and bedrock of that relationship was the energy team at the Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) Paris office, led by Guillaume Leenhardt. A great deal of our early success can be attributed to the professionalism, customer orientation, and creativity of that team,” Adenuga said.
According to him, “we worked extremely hard and well together to meet some ridiculously tight deadlines – working through the night till 6 a.m. only to resume work again at 8 a.m. after a quick nap and shower. Those are days I remember with a lot of fondness.
“Soon after the award of our telecommunications licence in 2003, our relationship with another prominent French company, Alcatel, led at the time by Serge Tchuruk, enabled us to fast-track the roll-out of our infrastructure and close the gap on the competition, which had had a 15-month head start.”
Back in 2017, the French government, in homage to Adenuga’s humanity and relentless strides at rewriting the African business narrative, invested him with a Knight of the Legion of Honour (Chevalier de la Legion d Honneur), the highest French decoration and one of the most famous in the world.
Adenuga became the only and first-ever Nigerian to have received the award since its inception.
He was honoured for his remarkable contribution to the development of French-Nigerian relations and his appreciation of French culture.
Following the honour accorded him, Adenuga later relocated and rebuilt the Alliance Française, which for several decades was located in Yaba, Lagos.
The Alliance Française is committed to promoting French culture and teaching French as a second language around the world and has been named Mike Adenuga Centre, immediately after the relocation. Since it was declared open to the public in 2019, the centre has been getting commendations from far and near.
While inaugurating the centre during his visit to Lagos, President Macron said the centre was aimed at fostering friendship between Nigeria and France.
“Lagos is one of the challenges of, not only Nigeria but Africa. This huge city is a tremendous challenge about how to make people live together in peace. I want France to be part of this story. I do want my country and its citizens to be part of this experience, which means sharing the same values, cultures, languages, literature, music, movies, and common economic projects, among others,” Macron said during his visit to Nigeria.