Airtel, 9Mobile, Others Face Competition as Former MTN Boss Moves to Float ‘New’ Telecom Firm

Airtel, 9Mobile, Others Face Competition as Former MTN Boss Moves to Float ‘New’ Telecom Firm

  • The ex-CEO of MTN Nigeria, Adrian Wood, who left Nigeria in 2004, has returned to revamp a Nigerian telecoms company
  • Wood took over as the chief executive officer of ntel, the company that was unbundled from NITEL
  • Wood said he would seek new investors to inject $500 million into intel and introduce 5G and other exciting services’s Pascal Oparada has reported on tech, energy, stocks, investment, and the economy for over a decade.

Adrian Wood, the former chief executive officer (CEO) of MTN Nigeria, has returned to Nigeria after leaving the country in 2004.

Wood returned to the Nigerian telecoms industry as the CEO of ntel, the telecommunication firm unbundled from NITEL and managed by NATCOMS.

ntel gets new CEO to begin rivalry with MTN, others
The new chief executive officer of ntel, Adrian Wood promises robust ntel services Credit:Tim Robberts
Source: Getty Images

Former MTN boss Wood makes bold promises

Wood resumed office on January 8, 2024, as the new ntel CEO, replacing Babatunde Omotoba, and plans to raise $550 million to restructure the new ntel.

Read also

Apply: Nigerian govt invites bids for 17 new oil blocks, slashes fees to attract investors

The new ntel boss is expected to shop for new investors and rebrand the telecom firm. He has assured the company’s staff of his commitment and desire to meet up with his new role.

In a company-wide letter dated June 5, 2024, Wood asked the staff to remain firm, assuring them of his commitment to introduce new investors and rebrand the firm in a few weeks.

According to reports, Wood told the staff about his many meetings with the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), which has managed ntel since last year, and his plans to return the company to its new investors.

ntel to rollout 5G, other exciting services

He also disclosed that he had met with the telecoms regulators, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Read also

Good news for naira as CBN announces new support to stabilise foreign exchange market

He stated his plans to introduce new products and services not seen in the Nigerian telecom space.

The latter partly reads:

“On May 21, I visited the EVC/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr. Aminu Maida.  We had a very productive session about the forward plan for NATCOMS, our role in industry building, as well as the prospects for raising equity and debt capital to fund a complete new 4G/5G network design and rollout nationwide.”

BusinessDay reports that the Nigerian telecom industry experienced a 9.89% quarterly real-term decline but achieved a yearly growth of 5.43%.

A recent report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said the telecoms industry contributed 17.89% in Q1 of 2024, higher than the same quarter in the year before at 17.67%.

New players to boost competition

Experts say the revamping of ntel will present robust competition in the industry, affording Nigerians various choices.

Read also

MultiChoice readjusts subscription prices for DStv, GOtv after court order

They say that if successfully executed, Ntel might drive huge competition among telecom users in Nigeria if it pushes through with its planned rollout of 5G and other innovative services.

Chuks John, a telecoms worker, said that contrary to popular belief, the Nigerian telecoms space is not saturated, especially now that the industry is pushing for a tariff increase.

“There is always room for more players, contrary to popular opinion. The industry, especially the GSM sub-sector, can accommodate up to 10 players.
“The difference will be in the kind of services and innovation that they bring to the industry. Remember, it was one of the players that introduced per-second billing in Nigeria that changed everything.”

Recently, the NCC listed approved phone types in Nigeria, saying the phone phone market is dominated by Chinese brands.

The telecoms regulator said approved phone types have risen to over 2,000 and warned Nigerians not to patronize unauthorised mobile devices.

Read also

FG to open 6 more filling stations where fuel sells for N200, improve gas sector

NCC lists 7 causes of data depletion for mobile phone users earlier reported that the NCC identified seven key factors contributing to the rapid depletion of mobile data for subscribers nationwide.

The announcement comes amid rising complaints from consumers about the swift exhaustion of their data bundles.

According to the NCC, several factors and apps can contribute to data depletion on mobile devices.

Proofread by Kola Muhammed, journalist and copyeditor at


Pascal Oparada avatar

Pascal Oparada (Business editor) Pascal Oparada is a Mass Communications Graduate from Yaba College of Technology with over 10 years of experience in journalism. He has worked in reputable media organizations such as Daily Independent, TheNiche newspaper, and the Nigerian Xpress. He is a 2018 PwC Media Excellence Award winner.