Indian telecoms operator Bharti Airtel has announced plans to invest around USD600 million in expanding its mobile network in Nigeria, The Economic Times reports. Last month Bharti finalised the acquisition of the African assets of Kuwait-based Zain Group, in a deal valued at USD10.7 billion. The company has taken over Zain’s operations in 15 countries, including Nigeria, Malawi, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Uganda. Manoj Kohli, CEO and joint managing director at Bharti, revealed that the firm will invest in rural telephony in Nigeria and introduce a corporate social responsibility programme that includes setting up of schools that would offer free quality education to underprivileged children in rural communities. ‘We want to be a partner in Nigeria’s growth and will work with the government to take the telecoms network deep into all corners of the country to touch the common man,’ Kohli noted. The Indian company expects to introduce the Airtel brand across its new units by October 2010.
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