Executive Vice-Chairman, Globacom, Mrs Bella Disu, tells IFE Ogunfuwa about the telco’s mobile money plan among other sundry issues
What’s your opinion about the Nigerian operating environment in view of the ease of doing business drive of the government?
It’s good that the government has initiated moves to ease the process of doing business in Nigeria but the environment can be friendlier. The government can do a lot more to ensure that there is a sustainable environment for the private sector to flourish. How? In the telecoms sector, for instance, ensure that there are no delays in the allocation of spectrum licences and eliminate bureaucratic obstacles that affect the way we roll out services and expand our networks.
You have the responsibility to drive Globacom to the next level, what are the opportunities you are looking at exploring?
I will answer this question in two parts: One is that we have a 9,800km submarine cable starting in Lagos and ending in the United Kingdom but has 16 branching points across Africa. We could do a lot more to offer international and national circuits to key players in the telecoms sector in those countries. That’s something we are looking to really focus on in our drive so that we have more presence and influence in Africa.
As a key player, I think there is a lot more to be done in terms of how we push digital innovation, how we are driving the change and the need to be innovative. I am a firm believer that the world is experiencing rapidly total transformation and if you don’t adapt and move with it, you will get left behind. Globacom is having a route to innovation where we say we are identifying needs and finding ways to proffer solutions by using our platform to deploy artificial intelligence, which will basically emulate what people do. We would be the first to launch, in the Nigerian telecoms industry, a virtual customer service assistant, an intelligent, interactive and engaging assistant which gives room for self enquiries, gives more information on products and improves customer experience real time. So, you have someone who can chat with you via SMS, Facebook, WhatsApp and Web chat. There are plans for that to evolve into voice integration as well.