Meet Ernest Akinlola, the New Ntel CEO

Ntel appoints former Virgin Mobile, EE and Lycamobile executive Ernest Akinlola as CEO

Nigerian operator Ntel has appointed former EE and Lycamobile executive Ernest Akinlola as its CEO.

Akinlola takes over from Kamar Abass, who resigned in July, apparently because of ill health.

Ntel launched its 4G services in Nigeria in 2016, starting in Lagos and the capital, Abuja. It grew out of the fixed-line operations of the bankrupt state operator Nitel, which had a mobile arm, MTel.

Akinlola reportedly spent 10 years of his career in the UK after qualifying as an accountant. He worked at the then Virgin Mobile – now Virgin Media – negotiating the pioneering mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) deal with mobile operator One2One, which was bought by Deutsche Telekom and renamed T-Mobile.

He was head of MVNO at T-Mobile UK and its successor, EE, for five years until the end of 2006, when he became chief operating officer of Lycamobile.

Akinlola moved to Nigeria in 2009 to become marketing and strategy director of Etisalat’s operation in the country. He’s also worked for BlackBerry as director of government relations in Nigeria.

Ntel has not announced Akinlola’s appointment on its website – the most recent report on the media section there dates from June 2017 – but the appointment was widely covered yesterday in the Nigerian business press.

Akinlola says on his own LinkedIn profile that “Ntel is Nigeria’s most revolutionary and integrated telecommunications company having acquired the country's national fixed and mobile assets from Nitel”.

It offers, he says, “capacity and dark-fibre on our network of 1,100km metro-fibre ducts across six major cities and 4,000km of inter-city fibre rights-of-way” and “LTE Advanced mobile services including VoLTE, high-speed internet access, messaging and video services”.

He says he is responsible to the board for strategy, leadership, commercial and network KPIs and the effective management of stakeholders.

Ntel says on its own website that the company “can be traced to the acquisition of core telecom assets previously owned by Nigeria’s national fixed and mobile operators – NiTel/Mtel – by NatCom Development & Investment (NatCom) in a liquidation process supervised and approved by Nigeria’s Bureau of Public Enterprises and a court-appointed liquidator.”

Core assets were transferred to NatCom, which trades as Ntel, in May 2015.


  1. He is sure qualified for the position, judging by the offices he previously held. In and outside the country.

  2. I pray he manages it more that his predecessor, making sure that the services is been extended to cut across other state and cities.

  3. I wish him all the very best of good luck, and am urging him to do something about their expensive packages, he should make it affordable, atleast to the extent, that one can afford without breaking the bank one.

  4. God bless you wizy, keep the passion flowing

  5. A well deserved appointment judging from his track records.

  6. This ISP under review should try as a matter of urgency to extend their network connections to all states in the federation

  7. with my own opinion he is well fit fr that job,may God grant him success

  8. another thing he has to work on is that he should ensure fair play practices...nd let ntel serves their customers with a good mind


  9. We hope he will evolve policies that will rapidly spread the nTEL LTE-A breach to other cities in NIGERIA and also make sure the NETWORK‘S QUALITY be LTE-A INDEED.

  10. I hope he’ll work positively because ntel I’d kinda stagnant in growth and expansion.


  11. .......Congrats to him once again. we expect the best from
    GOD BLESS YOU......