As part of ways for President Emmanuel Macron to keep the Franco-Nigerian Business Council active, and keep up momentum ahead of the France-Africa Summit in Montpellier on 8 October, the French leader hosted the signing of a landmark partnership deal between Nigeria’s Globacom and EutelSat inside Elysée Palace in Paris, France.
The historic Elysée event saw Nigerian-born multi-billionaire tycoon, Dr. Mike Agbolade Adenuga Jnr. on 30 September signed the multibillion-dollar partnership with EutelSat while the French satellite communications group CEO, Rodolphe Belmer signed on behalf of his company.
The gigantic deal for satellite deployment in the Nigerian market was witnessed by President Macron and French External Commerce Minister, Frank Riester.
The deal is coming on the wake of Nigerian Government’s announcement of the planned rollout of the 5G network in Nigeria, which will boost internet connectivity in urban and rural communities.
Globacom is Nigeria’s second-largest telecoms operator by subscriber number and market share. Thus its partnership with EutelSat of France is expected to enhance the deployment of 500 Wi-Fi relay stations to far-flung rural areas, for connection to a Eutelsat satellite.
Meanwhile, another French group, Vocalcom, which presently manages the software for Glo’s call centres in Nigeria, is hoping to cement a new deal in the mobile-money sphere with Glo.
Speaking on the deal with the French giants, the Globacom Chairman said the franchise’s relationship has been a long and extremely beneficial one.
“The genesis and bedrock of that relationship was the energy team at the Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) Paris office, led by Guillaume Leenhardt. A great deal of our early success can be attributed to the professionalism, customer orientation and creativity of that team,” said Dr. Adenuga.
“We worked extremely hard and well together to meet some ridiculously tight deadlines – working through the night till 6am only to resume work again at 8am after a quick nap and shower! Those are days I remember with a lot of fondness. Soon after the award of our telecommunications license in 2003, our relationship with another prominent French company, Alcatel, led at the time by Serge Tchuruk, enabled us to fast-track the roll-out of our infrastructure and close the gap on the competition, which had had a 15-month head start,” the billionaire added.
Back in late June, as part of the Business France Summit at Versailles, President Macron invited six Nigerian business moguls —including Dr. Adenuga— to a private session. He brought together top level French CEOs to the table too. It is part of a multi-year campaign —pursued by Macron’s administration— to chase big contracts in Anglophone Africa.
The Versailles Summit allowed for the high-level networking that Minister Frank Riester has been pushing for.
At the Summit, Adenuga, for example, was introduced to EutelSat and that meeting has borne its fruit, with a partnership signed at the Elysée event on 30 September.