MTN pledges USD1bn network investment in Nigeria

Telecoms

Mobile network, MTN Nigeria says it will invest an additional $1 billion in the current financial year, for network expansion and improvement of quality of service.

Speaking at the company’s colourful tenth anniversary celebrations in Lagos yesterday, Brett Goshen, chief executive officer, MTN Nigeria, said the telecoms firm intends to further expand upon its subscriber base which currently stands at over 40 million. Goshen said as part of the strategy to achieve this, the network would deliberately push into the underserved rural communities.

“We have close to 7, 000 base transceiver stations located all over the country, and we are still rolling out more. We have deployed one of the most expansive fibre optic (over 8, 530km) and microwave infrastructure (Y’ellobahn – 11, 500km) in sub-Saharan Africa . In a dynamic market such as Nigeria , you cannot stop investing if you want to remain the leader.

“ That is why we are committed to investing an additional $1 billion to upgrade network in the current financial year”, Goshen added. The MTN CEO was, represented by Amina Oyagbola, human resources executive, MTN Nigeria.

However, Goshen maintained that the firm had witnessed unprecedented growth, that it was now a global benchmark for what can be achieved in an emerging economy.

“One constant factor emboldened us to stamp our imprint on this market, and that was its enormous potentials; particularly the intelligence, can-do spirit and remarkable resilience of its citizenry” He gave lucid insight into how the company was playing a fundamental role in driving socio-economic growth and development of the country through sustainable initiatives.

He disclosed that MTN Nigeria had paid about N700 billion in taxes and levies till date and that 99 percent of the firms 2,200 permanent workforce are Nigerians. “As at today, 349 Nigerians hold management positions and 70 percent of our Executive Management Committee are Nigerians. Dependence on expatriates has reduced from over 300 expatriates who were mainly in the core technical components of the business in 2002 to only 18 as at July 2011”.

Pascal Dozie, chairman, board of directors, MTN Nigeria who was at the event, commended senior executives of the firm including: Wale Goodluck, corporate services executive; Bola Akingbade, chief marketing officer; Karl Toriola, chief technical officer; Akin Braithwaite, customer services executive; for their dedication and steadfastness towards providing best-in-class services to its subscribers.

Speaking further, Goshen said the MTN Foundation which is funded by up to one percent of the company’s profit after tax, has 20 projects across 292 project sites in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). “With over N5 billion so far deployed to fund numerous initiatives, the foundation is definitely fulfilling its pledge to improve the quality of lives in our communities”.

The MTN Foundation, established in 2005, focuses on implementing high impact corporate social investments in three critical social areas of need – health, education, and economic empowerment.

The company used the occasion to the flag off “MyCustomer Week’, which is a week-long celebration of its customers, who are the cornerstone of the business. It entails a number of carefully planned activities aimed at rewarding its teeming subscribers. The ‘MyCustomer’ programme was introduced by MTN Nigeria in 2009 to deliver a one-to-one preferential, best-in-class customer service experience. The programme is about ensuring that MTN delights it customers beyond their expectation. Furthermore, it is aimed at motivating every MTN staff to strike the emotional connection with the customers at every opportunity they have to interact with them.