The Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria, ATCON, will this week hold its Annual General Meeting and elections into the National Executive Council.
This is coming about four months after the Association unveiled the plans as the active members ‘those fully compliant with payment of dues and other obligations’ are free to contest for various positions including the office of the President.
Of course, the major positions in contention are the offices the Vice Presidents, first and second, according to investigations.
TechEconomy.ng approached the incumbent President, Mr. Olusola Teniola, whose leadership style in the last two years has bequeathed ATCON with new status in the comity of comity of telecommunication industry players within and outside Nigeria.
He intends to re-contest for the position as elections hold April 26 during the AGM in Lagos.
Hear him confirm that: “My first term is coming to an end, officially, on April 26, 2018. I have done two years of active service and I am happy to share with you that I intend to give my time and energy to serve another term of two years.
“Members of ATCON are aware I want to re-contest. So, I have great supports even from other aspirants. I anticipate that come 26th, elections will hold and I hope it will be well attended”.
TechEconomy.ng also noticed a renewed interest among CEOs who are gearing up to join the NEC. What could be the driving force: to serve or to enjoy some bounties and banters?
Teniola speaks: “Let me start by saying that since the inception of my leadership and service to the ATCON and the industry, they have seen a difference. In the last two years, we have demonstrated that is not just words, rather actions.
“I think the first most demonstrable action was vibration in what we ATCON believe in- we need to engage with the government to influence the policy in the right way. We are not a pressure group. That is what distinguishes us from other Associations in the industry. ATCON, under my leadership, speaks for the whole industry.
“So, those other associations affiliate themselves to what I am saying. Also, the NEC stood behind me for ATCON to change. Change in the way we remain relevance; not only to our members but cutting across sectors like the e-Commerce, and others who are interested in ensuring the growth of this industry is not stunted.
“So, one of the things they noticed was that immediately I took the role of leadership (then in Ghana), in my speech I wasn’t just talking about Broadband in Nigeria rather across West Africa. They appreciated that, because it was the first time they were able to understand some of the issues we were facing in Nigeria which are similar in Ghana. We also related that some of their issues can crawl up in Nigeria. Therefore, when we think it is only Nigeria that has issues, no; we should appraise ourselves, raise issues and solutions.
“Some of the renewed interests among our members could be that they are no longer shy. My style of leadership is that I engage people. You can’t be shy around me. I will knock on your (office) doors, and we sit down to talk. They appreciated the fact we knocked on their doors and brainstormed on solutions to the industry problems.
“Aside that, our visit to President of the Senate aroused interests among members; it was first of its kind. They were like, ‘if this can happen I want to be part of more achievements by joining this group of leaders’.
I also would like to think that the way and manner of relationship with our members have give them a lot of confidence that once there is an issue shared with us will be taken to conclusive, successful end.
“What do I mean by that? I want to create an atmosphere for our members to recreate themselves and relax. The recent award was a new one; not that ATCON hadn’t done it in the past, but it was in the long past. We rejuvenated that. These people need to unwind and promote harmony. We are still in Business, but there is work and play.
“Also, what has made the last two years different- honestly, CNBC has really trusted in our opinions. They have given us an open platform to be able be able to address some of the investors’ concerns. That is what we have not been able to do before. If investors are coming to Nigeria, they call for opinion of ATCON before they make their moves.
“In addition, our regulators and the Ministry of Communications would always want to hear ATCON’s view on certain matters. I am happy we have risen to that level of trust and confidence that we will come with objective in addressing difficult situations in the industry.