MTN Foundation donates E-library to Obafemi Awolowo University, institutes a 3-year scholarship for eight lucky students

Digital learning for Nigeria’s youth gets another lift

As part of its continued investment in youth development, education, and empowerment, MTN Foundation at a virtual event today, handed over an e-library to Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. The e-library is named after the philanthropist and former Minister of Health, who is now Chairman, MTN Foundation, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, OFR, mni.

The university has become the latest recipient of the e-library intervention by the MTN Foundation joining University of Lagos, Ahmadu Bello University, University of Nigeria and University of Benin.

While giving his remark, Prince Adelusi-Adeluyi, OFR, mni said the infrastructure would grant students easy access to additional resources to broaden their learning.

“Buying books for me has been a lifelong investment and when it was time to give them away, my alma-mater, the Obafemi Awolowo University came to mind. On speaking with the school librarian, it became necessary to equip the library with some digital resources and this was where the MTN Foundation came in.

Brightening lives and empowering youths has always been a priority for us at the MTN Foundation. Providing adequate infrastructure for students to access quality education physically or virtually is of utmost importance. This is why we have worked together on this project to empower the students for a formidable future in the new digital era. The world has gone digital and we will not wait behind.”

In her remark, the Ag. Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Odunayo Sanya stated, “The upgrade of the Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi Library to an e-library is a critical project for the MTN Foundation. Certainly, we place a premium on empowerment and full access to information as evidenced by the libraries we established in four universities across the country including the University of Lagos, the Ahmadu Bello University, the University of Benin and the University of Nigeria”

Commenting further, she highlighted that “This particular library is special because it is tied to the legacy of a man we at the MTN Foundation hold in very high esteem. A man dedicated to the wealth and development of generations. It has been upgraded to deliver even more value for the students of this great institution. We trust that the symbolism of the inspirational leader who this library is named after is not lost on those who use it. Till date, 273 students of the OAU have benefitted from the Science and Technology Scheme of the MTN Foundation. In honour of our Chairman, it gives me great pleasure to announce that the MTN Foundation is instituting the Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi OFR, mni Prize for Pharmacy and Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi OFR, mni Prize for Law. The 3-year scholarship for pharmacy and law students will benefit eight outstanding scholars from universities across the country.”

Commending MTN Foundation for the donation, the Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede said:

“We are excited that the Chairman, through the MTN Foundation, decided to bestow this honor on the Obafemi Awolowo University. What we have in the Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi e-Library has assisted us in obtaining the university’s accreditation, which earned us a hundred percent. We appreciate the MTN Foundation for this contribution and are committed to setting and implementing sustainable measures to ensure that these resources are put to the best use. This gesture will accelerate students’ learning and bridge the gap in areas where textbooks are not readily available.”

The MTN Foundation continues to support education as a part of its four causes – Youth Empowerment, Arts and Culture, Maternal and Child Health and National Priority.

Opinion piece: The accelerated adoption of digital tools and its long term impact

Bayo Adekanmbi, Chief Transformation Officer, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc

As many of us have sat, isolated at home over the last 3 months, cut off from our offices, and aspects of day-to-day life that we are accustomed to, the world around us has been changing in ways that very few of us could have predicted if asked at the end of 2019. We have seen an acceleration in the transition to the use of digital tools that we expected to take a decade, happen almost overnight, and it is unlikely that some of these changes will be reversed. The new normal is here and businesses have to re-organise their core business models through backward and forward integration to maintain their relevance.

The key challenge that new digital tools often face is how to drive adoption. How to break deeply-held routines, or accepted practice. Many disruptive digital tools seek to change long-held social norms. For example, employers for years have insisted on the need for physical meetings, in an office, in order to conduct business. While the video conference industry has grown with the growth of digital technology, I am not sure that it anticipated the kind of acceleration that took place when COVID-19 struck the world.

In a few short months, employees everywhere are completely used to the concept of engaging with their colleagues remotely. Just look at the share price of Zoom, and the investments that its competitors are making in their propositions. It’s already clear that a significant percentage of offices will continue some level of remote working, even if restrictions are lifted. Google and Twitter have said that they won’t, and so the industry has achieved a level of adoption in months, that would normally have taken it years.

This is true in other segments too. Visual or digital entertainment businesses have grown significantly and more and more people are going to understand the type of immersive experiences that technologies like 7D offer. In Denmark, the football club Aarhus have introduced a ‘virtual stadium’ for spectators to attend via Zoom and showed the world how football can work without fans. Sport being delivered through an enhanced experiential immersion experience would have been considered decades away just three months ago.

Digital Financial Services are also expanding rapidly as they underpin all of these digital services, and many of the existing adoption challenges have been removed as people sign up to mobile financial services, or utilise agent networks close to them, out of necessity.

The tele-health industry has had to step into the gap left by restrictions on access to hospitals. How many of us will now be more comfortable engaging with our doctors remotely going forward? How many of us will be comfortable with the idea of engaging with robots as the first point of contact at hospitals, as has been introduced in Rwanda?

Remote learning has exploded. Whether at the university level or primary schools, students are engaging with their teachers over digital tools, and utilising digital delivery platforms. The ability to continue to ensure learning is absolutely critical to how this crisis is managed. In Nigeria, this is an area we have focused on recently. Not everyone can spend money on the data services that you need to enable it, and so, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), we have launched a free data service that gives students 500MB of free data for use on government-approved online learning platforms over the next three months.

Logistics models and e-commerce companies have also had to respond to the changing nature of retail and the changing structure of service delivery. We have seen Amazon recruiting hundreds of thousands of staff across its operations as it tries to meet demand. The same is happening across Africa as many large FMCG companies open up their operations to sell directly to the consumer through e-commerce platforms. Some are going as far as accelerating the incorporation of drones and other autonomous vehicles into their distribution chain.

It is not just a select group of existing business models that are seeing increased demand in this situation, it is forcing the accelerated evolution of new business models. A light touch economy is emerging that is much leaner, meaner, and more effective than the older ones. This is hugely advantageous for entrepreneurs because it removes significant barriers to entry. The gig economy, remote workstations, and free-lancing are all going to grow post-COVID-19, and faster than they would have done without it. That means the costs for a start-up will reduce significantly, at the same time as many traditional forms of employment begin to decline. Hugely fertile ground for an explosion in innovation and new ways of working that COVID-19 has accelerated to the present when it would likely have taken another ten years to happen progressively.

Finally, even traditional sectors that digital tools often find it hardest to penetrate, are seeing the benefits of digitisation. A network of Nigerian agricultural companies has invested significantly over the last few years in automating the supply chain and ensuring they can track inputs in real-time. That capability makes it much easier to manage the type of disruption that COVID-19 and movement restrictions bring. On the other side of the equation, farms that have seen offtake levels fall significantly as markets have closed, or had their operations restricted, have established digital distribution capabilities, and many of them are now able to track their route to market, or even deliver direct to consumers. As these capabilities continue to be enhanced, the efficiency and sustainability of our agriculture sector will improve, and many of the challenges that it faces from a logistics perspective can be resolved.

Hotel chains effectively shut down by lockdowns, have had to be hugely innovative to try and create revenue streams from their existing infrastructure. A leading international hotel in Lagos responded by opening laundry and food delivery as complementary businesses. They also digitized the food delivery with order placement and fulfillment possible on two existing applications.

For a digital operator investing in the building blocks that enable this type of transition, our models are also being forced to change faster than we had anticipated. We provide the rails that these services run on, and an explosion in demand for access to data is something that we have had to adapt very quickly to manage. We’ve seen increasing investments in this capability and are anticipating that this continues throughout the COVID-19 period and beyond as many practices adopted today will continue as the ‘new normal.’ Thankfully, we have spent nearly two decades investing in the fixed infrastructure to enable us to do this, with well over 20,000km of fibre rolled out across the country, our network can provide the backbone that enables not only our services but the services of many other providers as well.

As the pace of digital adoption continues to grow, new technologies like 5G will be key enablers for new generation businesses. The ability to create and smoothly operate the ‘internet of things’ will be a key driver for the rapid transition to digitisation. Nigeria has already embarked on this process, with public consultation, and we look forward to the debate.

At MTN, we firmly believe that the digital economy has the potential to not just replace the oil economy that has been relied upon for so long, but that it will enable Nigeria’s economy to surpass it, becoming more sustainable, more productive and delivering more value to its people.

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MTN Nigeria to Run Limited Trial of e-SIM Technology…First of it’s kind in West Africa

Lagos | Nigeria: July 15, 2020

In its continued drive to lead digital transformation, foster inclusion, improve customer experience and maintain the highest quality of service for its customers MTN Nigeria Plc (MTN) today announced the trial of e-SIM services on their network based on approvals received from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The next step in the evolution of Subscriber Identity Modules (SIM cards), e-SIMs are designed to deliver unprecedented freedom and flexibility. Unlike the physical SIMs, e-SIMs are built into smartphones, devices and wearables. They support multiple profiles and allow customers to connect multiple numbers to their e-SIM devices.

Notwithstanding the sophistication of e-SIMs, the onboarding requirements are the same as are required for a physical SIM. Hence, SIM registration in line with existing regulatory prescriptions remains a requirement for activating a device embedded with an e-SIM.

e-SIMs are particularly useful for people who want to manage personal and business lines easily and effectively or want a separate profile for data. The new technology will also be extremely convenient for frequent travellers and tourists, making it easier for them to opt for and keep a local subscription when visiting Nigeria.

The trial which kicked-off today will run for one year and is open on a first come first served basis to a limited number of subscribers who own compatible devices. Expressing satisfaction at the development, Mazen Mroue, Chief Operating Officer, MTN Nigeria said the company was eager to get through the trial process so that the technology can be deployed for the benefit of every Nigerian.

“We are in a fast-paced digital age with new technological advancements driving the constantly changing landscape. Against this backdrop, customers depend on us to provide high quality, reliable and easy-to-use connectivity solutions.

“With the introduction of the e-SIM, we will offer customers a seamless and distinctive digital experience with new levels of flexibility, simplicity and convenience. This is a further demonstration of our firm commitment to delivering the benefits of a bold new digital world to our customers; and we will continue seeking new ways to provide solutions that address old and new challenges, making life a little easier and brighter,” Mroue stated.

MTN is spearheading e-SIM adoption in Nigeria as part of efforts to enable the digital economy. For all MTN mobile subscribers who own e-SIM compatible devices, setting up an e-SIM profile with a new or existing mobile plan is quick and easy. All it takes is a visit to an MTN service centre where frontline staff will help in registration and onboarding at no cost. Soon, e-SIM users will also be able to link multiple compatible devices and smart wearables such as tablets, smartwatches etc to their profile.

Our subscribers have sent over 4 billion free SMS

Mohammed Rufai, Chief Technical Officer’s interview with This Day newspaper

Mohammed Rufai is the Chief Technical Officer at MTN Nigeria, a role he has held for over a year. Prior to that, he served as the Chief Technical Officer for MTN Ghana and also served with MTN Group MANCO as General Manager, Technology in charge of South, East Africa, and Ghana.

Rufai joined MTN Group in 2002 as a graduate of Computer Science from the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi with certifications from globally acclaimed institutions including Cranfield University, Duke Corporate Education, and the Lagos Business School.

In this interview, he speaks on the state of MTN Nigeria’s network operations since the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak as well as steps the operator has taken to curb the effects of the pandemic on people, organisations, and institutions across the country.

Q. At the onset of the pandemic in Nigeria, MTN announced interventions for its subscribers which included 300 free SMS monthly per customer. This was met with push-back online with critics saying, people wouldn’t use it. What informed the decision to go ahead with this offer?

A. All of the interventions that we have implemented have been designed based on an assessment of the level of impact. When we were considering the SMS intervention, this was at the heart of our thinking, alongside the very real consideration of how to manage the considerable pressure that our network was under from increased demand for digital and data services. We selected free SMS because of these two considerations: first, it would be the intervention that would benefit the widest number of people and the most vulnerable subscribers; and second, it would be something we could offer at a scale that would not unduly threaten the integrity of the network.

The data we are now seeing is clearly validating this. As at Friday, June 26th, more than 52 million Nigerians have sent over 4 billion SMS for free as a result of the intervention. I think you will agree that the impact of that is quite substantial. As we approach the end of the 3-month intervention period, we are on track to even record higher numbers of overall free SMS sent. These numbers should not be surprising because we have far more subscribers on our network that use feature phones than smartphones, and so are unable to access WhatsApp, Facebook, or other messaging services that ride over data services on the network. These subscribers are those that are most vulnerable to the economic shocks that COVID-19 has brought, and as with all of our interventions, these are the communities we have placed most emphasis on. So, while access to free SMS might not be what everyone wants, it is vital to the millions of people who depend on this service as their primary means of communication at this time.

I think it’s also important to emphasise the point about maintaining network stability. In line with global trends, we experienced significantly increased demand for data services during the lockdown and our existing infrastructure came under serious pressure. Because of this, we knew that the network would not be able to manage the surge in use that would come had we dropped data tariffs, and so the decision to provide all subscribers with 300 free SMS per month was done to ensure we could support the maximum number of people, prioritising the most vulnerable, without threatening the network’s integrity, on which millions of Nigerians and businesses were dependent.

Q. Was there any tracking system put in place to monitor the use of these services and how customers responded to each of these? If so, which of the offerings did Nigerians respond to the most i.e. which recorded the most traffic, the Mobile Money, SMS, or Data?

A. Yes, we were able to track the usage of these services, and the numbers that we have seen have validated our approach. The free SMS service witnessed the most engagement by far. As I earlier mentioned, as at 26 June, over 52 million Nigerians had used free SMS, compared to the over 4 million who took advantage of the free data provided to access health websites via mobile. That means that over 75% of our subscribers accessed the SMS intervention at some point during the 3-month validity period.

Q. How have the freebies and the significant volume of usage affected CAPEX?

A. As I have said before, our interventions were specifically designed to ensure that the maximum number of Nigerians could benefit, without putting a high level of strain on the network. Having said that, it is worthy of note that the free SMS utilised so far by customers is valued at over N16 billion, which is a cost solely borne by the company, and which we expect to still go up.

The use of SMS that we have seen is something that we have the network capacity to absorb, but what challenged us was the demand for data. Fortunately, we have invested a lot in building multiple layers of redundancy on the network to manage the surge in consumer demand or significant changes in patterns such as the one we witnessed during the lockdown period. Despite this, we were forced to develop innovative solutions and approaches to rethinking the way we plan for future network demand. That means an enhanced focus on the rollout of infrastructure to support data and digital services, which was already in the pipeline but can now be accelerated.

We have been significantly challenged in the way in which we dimension, service, and maintain our sites. Furthermore, the infrastructure deployed for a certain number of subscribers had to be adjusted to the new realities. But at MTN, we are committed to ensuring that the capacity required is always available. We will also continue to maintain an optimal balance between enhanced access and network stability.

At this juncture, it is also important to acknowledge the support of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) which during the lockdown encouraged accelerated capacity upgrades.

Q. Considering that the world is now seriously gravitating towards digitisation of the labour force and remote working is becoming a trend, does this give an insight into what services will be the most demanded from the telecoms industry?

A. Absolutely. Digitisation was already taking place, but the speed and intensity with which COVID-19 has accelerated it is unprecedented. While we have been consistently investing to address the growing demand for data and digital services, we had not anticipated it happening almost overnight. The industry across the world has had to adapt to this and find a way to balance the work needed to sustain and expand the network, with social distancing requirements, new remote working protocols, and travel restrictions. Imagine asking an industry to rapidly increase capacity, while fundamentally changing the way that it operates? This is compounded in Nigeria by the scarcity of FX. That’s the transition that we’ve had to manage.

Q. Since we have been talking about MTN supporting the most vulnerable particularly in this peculiar period, what are you doing to reach underserved or unserved areas?

A. Our rural telephony project has gone quite well. We have been at it for quite some time now based on our conviction that all Nigerians, no matter where they are, deserve the benefits of modern telecommunication services. Everyone deserves to be connected. So working with our partners, we have been rolling out low-cost coverage solutions to rural communities. To date, we have deployed about 400 base stations and plan to add more than 2,000 base stations in the next 24 months.

The success of the rural telephony project is perhaps predicated on the amount of innovative thinking that we put into it, the quality of partnerships that we have, and our belief that everyone deserves the benefit of a modern connected life. It is worthy of note that in most of the communities that now have coverage, there are no other mobile operators present there. We take special pride in that, and the transformation the connection has brought to those communities is one of the things that drives us to cover other unserved areas.

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Partnerships that work! MTN and Samsung support the fight against COVID-19

Lagos, Nigeria

As part of ongoing drive to support the Federal Government’s continued effort against the spread of the coronavirus, Samsung and MTN Nigeria has provided communication support to health workers across the country.

Five hundred A2 Core phones from Samsung together with SIM cards and 2GB data monthly for six months from MTN will be given to case managers in the isolation centers across the 36 states of the country as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). This donation eases the process of data capturing and case reporting in these centers, supporting the government’s strategic plan in dealing with the pandemic.

Commenting, Chief Corporate Services Officer, MTN Nigeria, Tobechukwu Okigbo, said that to win the fight against the coronavirus, Nigerians – corporates and individuals must continue to work with the government. “Everyone that calls Nigeria home must see this pandemic as an opportunity to unite in service to the country, for the greater good of us all. We are only good together. MTN will continue to look for ways to collaborate with other stakeholders to help the government flatten the curve.”

Samsung’s Managing Director, Caden Yu describes the initiative as the company’s commitment to supporting the government in these times. ‘’Our thoughts are with every Nigerian and this donation is a way of using our resources to fight this pandemic. The survival of the human race is hinged on our collaborative effort; together we will get through this.”

It will be recalled that three months ago, MTN, as part of its Y’ello Hope package, donated over N500 million worth of airtime, data, and analytics, through the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) in support to state governments to facilitate communications during travel restrictions and, over N1.4 billion worth of airtime, data, and devices to connect medical personnel and health agencies.

MTN Celebrates Nigerian Arts and Culture

…announces support for series of arts productions for Q4 2018

Lagos, October 18, 2018: In furtherance of its proud tradition of promoting the growth and appreciation of arts and culture in the country, MTN Nigeria has announced the sponsorship of a slate of arts productions as part of its Arts and Culture initiative for the fourth quarter of the year, which also heralds an end of the year of surprises from the company.

Announcing the lineup of exciting events that will wrap up a packed and successful year at a press event in Lagos on Thursday, Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Nonny Ugboma, said,

“MTN Foundation has always supported the retelling and reimagining of timeless Nigerian stories through our Arts and Culture initiative. By promoting world-class stage productions, modern classics as Fela and the Kalakuta Queens, Moremi and Isale Eko, Legends, and Life in my City Art Festival, MTN Foundation aims to facilitate the continued resurgence of Nigerian fine art, music and theatre; as well as support the hardworking directors, producers and talent that make them happen.”

Commenting further, Ugboma said: “Through this initiative, we support platforms that seek to promote values, retell Nigerian/African stories and empower skilled professionals for an increasingly international audience. With millions of talented young people in Nigeria, we see arts and culture as veritable means for economic and youth empowerment.”

MTN Foundation has been at the forefront of supporting events that celebrate the country’s rich arts and culture. In the 2018 season, it has promoted African heritage by sponsoring such productions as Saro the MusicalWakaa the MusicalFela and the Kalakuta Queens stage play and the Eko Theatre Carnival. In addition to the performance acts, the Foundation also sponsors training initiatives such as the MUSON Music Scholars Programme aimed at empowering creative young Nigerians to excel in their musical pursuits.

MTN-Google training for SMEs extends to Abuja

Lagos, October 25, 2018:  With over 35 million registered Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria, the need to empower and encourage the growth of small businesses in Nigeria has led MTN Nigeria to collaborate with Google to train owners of SMEs in different parts of the country. The October edition of the training was taken to the city of Abuja where about 30 entrepreneurs were trained on how to grow their businesses using digital tools.

The SMEs owners received free training on how to penetrate the market in a peculiar environment like Nigeria. The training equipped them on the use of various digital tools such as Google Insight and social media to interact with customers in order to obtain valuable feedback for improving business operation. Participants were also taught on how to use YouTube for customer interaction and Google MyBusiness for business optimisation and customer targeting.

Speaking on the training, General Manager, Enterprise Marketing, Onyinye Ikenna-Emeka said, “In our engagement with SMEs, we noticed the need to inculcate some digital skills into the entrepreneurs, which would help them operate their businesses better and grow them.”

She further mentioned that “The initiative, which empowers SMEs with world-class opportunities to develop and learn about the latest advances in the online space, is testament to our commitment to Nigeria and entrepreneurial development in the country, hence our partnership with Google. Google is a great platform and there is immense opportunity for entrepreneurs to leverage and utilise the innovative features of such tools.” MTN Nigeria continues to seek ways to contribute to the Nigerian economy by extending its partnership capabilities to brighten the lives of small business owners within the country.

MTN Launches Revamped XtraValue Proposition, Unveils Actress Dakore Akande as Ambassador

Lagos, October 24, 2018: More great times lie ahead for MTN’s high value customers as the company unveiled its revamped XtraValue proposition before the media at the Radisson Blu hotel today October 24, 2018 in Lagos, Nigeria.

The event also marked the formal launch of a partnership between MTN and top Nigerian actress, Dakore Egbuson-Akande, who now becomes the face of XtraValue and stars in the latest TV commercials.

Speaking at the launch, she said: “I think the XtraValue package was made just for me, as it helps me manage my busy schedule whenever I travel. I really love the roaming feature as it means I can use the same line in different countries at an affordable cost.“

MTN’s XtraValue bundle plan offers the best of both worlds for data and voice calls on a single proposition. It is available in two categories – XtraTalk (which offers customers more airtime for Voice calls than Data volume) and XtraData (which offers customers more Data volume and airtime for voice calls).

For example customers can now enjoy 2.5Gb data plus N2,500 talktime on XtraData 2000, and there are 15 other variants of this bundle ranging from N300 to N20,000.  In addition, High Value customers on this package will not only enjoy the best data and voice offers but will also benefit from new add-ons such as roaming in 41 countries!

Speaking at the event, MTN Nigeria’s Chief Marketing Officer, Rahul De said the tariff plan was revamped “to give customers optimal experience and value for money. XtraValue did quite well when it was first launched in May 2016 and we saw the need to optimize the experience and improve the value offered to customers. We did this by introducing new functionalities such as roaming to ensure greater customer experience on the plan. This relaunch is in furthereance of MTN’s commitment to delivering tailor-made offerings that meet our subscribers’ needs.”

Customers can subscribe to an XtraValue bundle plan by dialling *131*2# to select the preferred bundle type and *556# or *559*61# to check XtraValue balances. To see all available bundles, visit https://mtnonline.com/xtravalue.

MTN Partners Arsenal to Promote Grassroots Football in Nigeria

… brings back 3-Day Coaching Clinic for Young Nigerians

Lagos, October 26, 2018: It’s back by popular demand!

As part of the continued effort to identify and coach the best young footballing talents in Nigeria, MTN Nigeria and top Premier League club, Arsenal Football Club, are once again holding a 3-day coaching clinic for 128 young players and 30 coaches from October 26-28, 2018 at the legacy pitch of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.

The clinic will provide the young talents with the necessary technical support, knowledge and skillset required to thrive at international level, as well as empower local coaches to build better teams and develop better stars.

Speaking on the coaching clinic and the company’s partnership with Arsenal, MTN’s General Manager, Brands and Communications, Richard Iweanoge said, “Like all Nigerians, our love for the beautiful game continues to grow with every new season. We are also passionate about developing the game in Nigeria, which is why we are pleased to work with Arsenal (one of the very best teams in England) to make this happen.”

He further reiteratedthatwith the coaching clinic “MTN hopes to raise future Nigerian stars that will be the next Alex Iwobi, Kanu Nwankwo or Lionel Messi and make their mark at the world stage.”

The coaching clinic will feature both theoretical and practical sessions facilitated by Arsenal Soccer School coaches and Arsenal legend, Lauren, who was a member of the famous “Invincibles” team that won the Premier League title in 2004.

NIBSS, MTN with partner Telcos and banks re-launch mCASH

Lagos, August 1, 2018: MTN Nigeria along with sixteen banks and all major mobile telcos, came together for the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems’ relaunch of mCASH this week. The event held at The Orchids, Eko Convention Centre, Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos on Tuesday, July 31

MCASH, is a mobile payment system for making low-value retail payments designed to extend e-payment options to low-income buyers and sellers who deal in cash. The cashless initiative was first launched in 2016.

Speaking at the re-launch of the platform in Lagos, MTN Nigeria CEO, Ferdi Moolman, represented by the General Manager, Mobile Financial Services, MTN, Mr Usoro Usoro, described the initiative as the outcome of what can be achieved when organisations work together for a common goal, to serve.

“It’s incredible how much the world has changed and continues to evolve with new ideas and technologies. Today, Africa is increasingly embracing new ways of payment for retail consumption and transactions.

For those of us in the telecoms industry, this presented us with the question; how do we fully utilise all available options to provide standardised and efficient mobile cashless services for micro-payment and collections? The answer? Ladies and gentlemen is MCASH,” he said.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NIBSS, Mr. Adebisi Shonubi said that the MCASH initiative was borne out of the need to enhance financial inclusion in Nigeria by extending e-payment benefits to payers and merchants who operate at the local levels especially the small and medium scale business owners.

“The intention is to expand the payment opportunity for people who still use cash today to find a more convenient means of making payments. To ensure the paradigm shift, we had to promote an ecosystem partnership consisting of banks and telecomunnication companies thereby birthing what has become a novel collaboration anywhere in the world – a service that is not one bank or one telco driven but which is ecosystem driven,” Shonubi said.

This USSD-based service delivers funds to merchants’ accounts based on USSD technology. You can use mCASH by simply dialling *402*Seller’s code*Amount# to pay accepting merchants.

For more information on mCASH, kindly visit www.mCASH.com.ng.