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9mobile appoints new CEO

Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Limited (EMTS), operating as 9mobile, has announced the appointment of Obafemi Banigbe as its Chief Executive Officer.

This strategic move is part of the company’s broader plan to embark on a new phase of business transformation, Nigeria’s fourth biggest telecom operator by market share said in a statement to The PUNCH on Friday.

9mobile, formerly known as Etisalat Nigeria, was acquired by Teleology Holdings with high hopes of turning it around, but has continued to struggle in the Nigerian market.

The operator has faced customer attrition, losing subscribers from its peak of 22 million in October 2016 to just over 15 million in November 2018.

Six years later, the operator trails behind with 11.7 million voice subscribers and 3.3 million internet users, according to the National Bureau of Statistics Telecoms Data released on Monday.

The new CEO Banigbe is expected to bring his extensive experience at the C-suite level and a profound understanding of the African business landscape.

The seasoned telecom expert and technology business leader succeeds Juergen Peschel, who will continue to support 9mobile as a consultant to assist with the ongoing transformation process initiated under his leadership.

His career in the telecoms industry began at Celtel (now Airtel Nigeria) as the Director of Operations. He has also held significant roles at Ericsson within the Sub-Saharan Africa Market Unit, Millicom Ghana, and Millicom International Cellular Tanzania.

Notably, Banigbe was previously the Chief Operations Officer at Millicom Ghana and served as Interim CEO, as well as Chief Technical Officer for Millicom Ghana and Tanzania.

The Board of 9mobile said, “We are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead and the positive impact that Obafemi will have on shaping the future of 9mobile.

“He brings along the vision, passion and years of experience from diverse environments, which will consolidate our priorities to provide superior customer experience and sustained network quality.

“Obafemi is expected to work closely with the Board of Directors and all stakeholders to define credible and achievable long-term business plans, through the introduction of solutions to address the evolving needs of the Nigerian telecommunication market.”

Banigbe expressed his enthusiasm about joining 9mobile and the opportunities within the Nigerian telecoms industry, characterized by strong competition and significant growth potential.

“I am delighted to join the 9mobile family and I look forward to using my experience and unique value propositions to lead the company in the next exciting phase of its journey. The goal is to build on the existing foundation of the company to create value that will transform the Nigerian telecoms sector,” Banigbe said.

Banigbe holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Federal University of Technology Minna, Nigeria.

He augmented his expertise through the Ericsson Management Development Program, and the Advanced Management Program at the London Business School, and culminated his academic journey with an MBA from Manchester Business School, U.K.


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