The CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of one of the leading telecoms operators in Sierra Leone, Airtel (Orange Sierra Leone) has appealed to NATCOM, Civil Society Organizations and consumers to give them more time to be able to finish the complete overhaul of their network infrastructure across the country. “Quality of service is key to our operations, that is why we are currently busy replacing old equipment with modern technology…We intend to improve the quality of voice and data communications in Sierra Leone…Our target is to meet international standards, not Africa standards…Orange does not believe in doing sub-standard jobs…We always go for the best…Our customers are important to us like our shareholders”, the CEO of Airtel (Orange Sierra Leone), Sekou Drame told the Global Times yesterday.
According to Mr. Drame, the company is investing US$33m this year in Network Improvement Plan across the country. “Very soon, people will begin to realize the changes in terms of quality of service and network expansion”, Mr. Drame said.
The Airtel (Orange Sierra Leone) CEO disclosed that, in 2016 alone, his company paid Le102 Billion (One hundred and two Billion Leones) to the Government of Sierra Leone through taxes, social security contributions, licenses and regulatory fees.
Airtel (Orange), according to Mr. Drame, has invested a total of US$117m (One hundred and seventeen million United States dollars) in Sierra Leone in the past nine years.
This year alone (2017), the company is investing US$33m (thirty three million United States dollars) in network improvement in Sierra Leone.
In 2016, the company spent Le800m (eight hundred million Leones) on Corporate Social Responsibility.
Airtel (Orange) has created six hundred and sixty two direct jobs in Sierra Leone and the company is outsourcing about sixteen thousand indirect jobs which make them the biggest employers in Sierra Leone.
Mr. Drame told the Global Times yesterday that the new company, (Orange Sierra Leone) is here to stay and with new expansion and new technology, the company will create more jobs for Sierra Leoneans.
At a joint press interview on Wednesday, the CEOs (Chief Executive Officers) of Airtel (Orange Sierra Leone) and Africell Sierra Leone, Sekou Drame and Shadi Gerjawi respectively, pleaded with NATCOM, Civil Society Organizations and consumers to exercise patience as they continue to overhaul their entire network infrastructure and expand their services to some remote parts of the country.
They both disclosed that, they have brought in new equipment which are currently being installed across the country.
Mr. Drame and Mr. Gerjawi said that, with the new equipment which they are currently installing, quality of service will improve significantly and they will expand their services to far-flung areas in the country. “To do all of this, we need more time…And we appeal to our subscribers to show understanding as we embark on this difficult phase of modernization leading to expansion and a better quality of service”, Mr. Gerjawi of Africell said.