The man charged with the arduous task of overseeing the transition from Airtel to Orange in Sierra Leone, Sekou Drame has told the Global Times in an exclusive interview that, in 2016 his company paid Le102 Bn. (One hundred and two Billion Leones) to the Government of Sierra Leone in taxes, social security contributions, licenses and regulatory fees.
As the leading telecommunications company in Sierra Leone with the highest subscriber base, Airtel has invested US$117m (One hundred and seventeen million United States dollars) in Sierra Leone in the past nine years.
The Airtel (Orange Sierra Leone) CEO, Sekou Drame disclosed that, his company is investing US$33 (Thirty three Million United States dollars) in Sierra Leone this year alone. “We are currently overhauling our network infrastructure and building thirty-three new sites across the country…Work is progressing satisfactorily…At the end of this difficult but rewarding project, our subscribers will have no reason to complain again…We will get there… It is just a matter of time”, Mr. Drame said.
Mr. Sekou Drame disclosed that, in areas where they have inaugurated new sites, subscribers are expressing delight at the service they are receiving from the Airtel (Orange) network. “More of these sites will be built across the country”, Mr. Drame assured.
The Airtel (Orange Sierra Leone) CEO disclosed that, they have been busy replacing old equipment with modern ones especially in this day and age of new technology. “Telecommunications is a dynamic sector… We have to keep pace with modern technology to be able to stay in business and provide for our subscribers reliable services”, Mr. Drame noted.
The Airtel (Orange Sierra Leone) CEO assured Sierra Leoneans that, with their current five year investment plan, subscribers will begin to realize the difference in network coverage and quality of service across the country.
He said Orange is an international brand name. “We are expected to deliver quality of service that marches international standards, not African standards”, Mr. Drame said.
The Airtel (Orange Sierra Leone) CEO called for patience as the changes that are currently taking place within their network infrastructure will deliver optimum quality of service throughout the country for their subscribers.
Mr. Drame has been in the country for just one year and five days today. He has to deliver on the assignment given to him to oversee a seamless transition from Airtel to Orange.