Posted by News Express | 5 February 2013 | 8,385 times
A new era has dawned at Airtel Nigeria with the gradual transfer of the management to Nigerians. After just over a month of grooming by Manoj Kohli, CEO (International) and Joint MD of the parent company, Bharti Airtel, Segun Ogunsanya has assumed duty as the new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Nigeria.
Appointed and put under the tutelage of Kohli effective November 26, 2012, Ogunsanya quietly assumed leadership of Airtel Nigeria in the first week of last month.
News Express learnt that he has been keeping a low profile because he is still understudying the outgoing MD and CEO, the Indian technocrat, Rajan Swaroop, who has successfully led operations at Airtel Nigeria for the past two years.
“The outgoing CEO is here till March 31, then Segun can start flying,” a source at Airtel Nigeria told News Express. “This has been planned so that Rajan may guide him through,” the source added.
When Ogunsanya fully takes over, Swaroop will be appointed a Non-Executive Director on the Board of Airtel Nigeria following the completion of the transition process and will continue to work closely with the Airtel Nigeria leadership team.
Prior to joining Airtel, Ogunsanya was MD/CEO of Coca-Cola Hellenic, Nigeria (Nigerian Bottling Company). He was previously MD/CEO, Coca-Cola Sabco in Kenya, from December 2009 – August 2011; Chief Executive/General Manager, Coca-Cola, Ghana (May 1999 – August 2008); and Head of Treasury, Budget & Accounts, Coca-Cola Nigeria, from July 1994 – April 1998.
Ogunsanya’s first public communication in his new capacity as Airtel Nigeria MC/CEO came by way of a statement announcing the completion of reconstruction works on Airtel’s adopted schools in Ogun, Imo and Cross River states.
The schools were taken over last year under Airtel’s Adopt-a-School programme; a CSR initiative that seeks to offer first class learning facilities and opportunities to children in far flung places where quality education is hard to come by at the foundational level.
Under the programme, Airtel selects primary schools in distant locations across the country and breathes more life into them; renovating the buildings and providing teaching materials and staff among other interventionist gestures.
Among the current set of completed school projects under the programme are St. John’s Primary School, Ijebu-Igbo in Ijebu-North local government of Ogun State; Presbyterian Primary School, Ediba, Abii Local Government Area, Cross River State; and Amumara Town Primary School, Ezinihite, Mbaise Local Government Area in Imo State.
The schools have all been slated for commissioning by Governors Ibukun Amosun of Ogun State, Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and Liyel Imoke of Cross River State respectively.
Speaking on the completion of the projects, Ogunsanya explained that the Adopt-a-School programme was conceived to lend a weighty hand and complement the efforts of government to turn around the nation’s education sector.
“At Airtel Nigeria, we take cognizance of the fact that foundational education is the most critical stage in the learning curve of a child and a lot of things could go wrong if not properly handled at that stage. It is at this stage that the child can develop the capacity for learning which would become handy at the primary and tertiary levels. Once a child misses it at this stage, he is in a race against time,” he said.
The new MD/CEO pointed out that Airtel felt obliged to intervene in the nation’s education sector because it had become clear to all that “it is no longer fashionable to sit back and bemoan the state of things in the country. Every responsible corporate body must work to establish the change we seek. It is even more imperative now that we all know that government cannot do it all alone.”
Ogunsanya explained that schools acquired under the Adopt-a-School programme would be provided with school uniforms for the pupils, furniture, curriculum and non-curriculum text books, school bags, teaching aids and other learning materials.
•Photo: Airtel Nigeria’s new MD/CEO, Segun Ogunsanya.
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