As part of the restructuring process and to keep its over 20 million customers afloat, Etisalat Nigeria must change its domain name, the www. etisalat. com.ng within the next three weeks.
This has become necessary to avoid the site been shut down, since it still bears the Etisalat brand name.The Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (ETC), which controls 45 per cent shareholding in Etisalat Nigeria has given the Nigerian arm, three weeks, within which it must change the brand name.
Already, Chief Executive of Etisalat International, Hatem Dowidar, who gave the three weeks notice, had hinted of the firm’s readiness to provide any technical assistance to the Nigerian arm pending when it will be able to phase the brand out of Nigeria.
The implication of not changing the domain name could be grievous, which could include loss of revenue as long as the shut down persisted.Meanwhile, a statement from the Etisalat Nigeria, July 11, signed by its Vice President, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, Ibrahim Dikko, assured subscribers of continued support.
The statement reads: “Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Ltd. (EMTS), trading as Etisalat Nigeria hereby assures its customers and other stakeholders that Etisalat Group’s reported withdrawal of the right to the continued use of the Etisalat brand in Nigeria by EMTS does not in any way imply discontinuation of our business as Nigeria’s fourth largest mobile service provider.
“We thank all our customers, stakeholders and the media for their unalloyed support to the company.” Also, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has vowed to protect the company from possible collapse of its operations.
Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Dambatta, who gave the assurance at the 80th edition of Telecom Consumer Parliament, July 11, in Abuja, observed that the Commission is aware of the current challenge facing the company following the recent report about its mother company withdrawal from Nigerian market.
He said NCC had waded into the matter to save the jobs of the staff and interest of the 20 million subscribers at stake.Represented by a commissioner, Mr. Sunday Dare, the EVC said though the Commission never anticipated the crisis would befall Etisalat, it would ensure that the interest of the staff and subscribers are protected and services not disrupted.
The Director, Consumer Care at Etisalat, Mr. Plato Syrimis, also allayed the fears of the staff and subscribers of Etisalat, saying that the change of name would have no impact on the operation and service delivery of the company, insisting that no consumer would lose his line.
‘’Don’t expect any dare consequences because of the proposed change of name. The truth is that Etisalat has been operating from the Middle East shareholder until it pulled out of Nigeria two weeks ago. We have been operating and still running. That will not affect our services. It is unfortunate that this happened but will not affect the market, which had been in operation for many years.
‘’Airtel changed name six times and that did not make it lose its market, that is what is expected to happen in Etisalat. It is only the brand name that is going to change, all our services, innovations, staff are not going to be lost. You are not going to wake up one day and lose your line.’’