On December 3, 2019, the 10th edition of the BusinessDay CEO Forum Nigeria was held at the Lagos Continental Hotel, Victoria Island, with the theme ‘Nigeria at Crossroads: The Private Sector Opportunity’, and featured the who is who in the private and public sector.
Speaking on “MTN’s Value Contribution to Nigeria’s Socio-Economic Development”, Mazen Mroue, Chief Operating Officer, MTN Nigeria, while outlining some of the achievements of the number one telecommunications company in Africa and the Middle East, listed some figures that were too mouthwatering to ignore. One is that MTN Nigeria has till date paid the Nigerian government over N1.7 trillion in taxes and second, as the numero uno telco in the country, over 20 million Nigerians live in areas where MTN is the only network provider.
Despite Nigeria being at crossroads, MTN continues to contribute to the country’s socio-economic development in a way that no other company within its space has done. At the last quarter of 2019, the company launched its mobile money service, MoMo Agent, under its subsidiary, the Y’ello Digital Financial Services (YDFS) Limited. Since its launch, the financial service has been well received across markets and rural areas in Nigeria.
Tracing the origin of this laudable initiative to a partnership with then Diamond Bank, Mroue said the YDFS was busy building the Agents that would assist in making the MoMo Agent service a successful. “In fact we’re busy converting the airtime agents, which are more than half a million scattered in communities across the country, into MoMo Agents.”
MTN’s Chief Enterprise Business Officer, Ms Linda Saint-Nwafor, speaking on the sideline of the event said, the company’s top objective has always been on how to create value for the customer. Interestingly, it can be adjudged that MTN Nigeria is so good at value creation that the company now has over 61 million subscribers according to recent data released by the sector regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Irrespective of the challenges with working in Nigeria – such as the highly contestable fine by the Nigeria’s apex bank, and the attacks on MTN’s infrastructure by Nigerians in retaliation to xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa – MTN has remained a strong and highly sought after development partner of governments at various levels.
One example is the company’s unveiling of its 5G capabilities with a live demo session in Abuja on November 25, 2019. For the impressive demonstration, a first in the West African subregion, MTN Nigeria collaborated with its partners such as Huawei, ZTE, Ericsson, NCC, and the Ministry of Communications Technology and Digital Economy.
Big on partnerships, and the sound ideology that “We’re good together”, according to Ms Saint-Nwafor, the MTN Nigeria’s doors are always open to “whoever and whatever business that believes it has that killer solution tailored to meeting the requirement of our customers… If you have any solution that will meet the requirements of our customers and will fill a socio-economic gap, please come let’s have some conversation.”