Tobechukwu Okigbo, Chief Corporate Services Officer MTN Nigeria Plc (Interview with The Guardian)
The CEO of NCDC said this morning that telcos including MTN have not been supportive before the coronavirus pandemic and that’s why it had problems with its telephone hotlines. Please I would like MTN to respond saying what exactly the company is doing to help during this crisis if it is helping in any way.
“MTN is currently engaging with the NCDC and providing support as needed. As stated by the CEO of NCDC, we have come out strongly in supporting the Centre and we will continue to do so. Prior to now, our relationship with the Centre was commercial. By that I mean that they purchase services from us like any other organization. However, these are trying times. These are times of great need for our country. We are therefore leveraging our core strength to support the Centre. For example, we have provided 1,200 telephones lines, which we have credited with N100,000 monthly for voice and sms. We are also providing 3GB of data a month to those lines. We’ll provide airtime and data to those lines for 6 months in the first instance. We will continue to provide airtime and data to those lines after that period as required. We are offering toll-free lines, some free phones and are partnering with the Centre to send out information to our subscribers.”
“Of course, we are in conversation with other like-minded organizations, including in our industry, to come together and do more. Coalitions are being formed, partnerships are being built to combat this scourge, and we are taking advantage of every opportunity to contribute. Different private sector work streams have been set up and MTN is active in a lot of them. I represent MTN in some of them, while my colleagues play critical roles in others. The fact is that this war is not going to be won except we cooperate and pool resources together. I have the authority of the Chairman of the Board of MTN, the Chairman of the Board of MTN Foundation and the Executive Committee (Excom) of the organization to identify these opportunities for collaboration and come back for guidance on how to proceed. To this end, Excom meets everyday to review actions being taken and to ensure we are deploying resources in a way that assures the most impact.”
“I can assure you that MTN is doing its bit, and that in collaboration with others in the private sector will do even more. In the coming days, this will become even more manifest. I dare say that the NCDC is pleased with our contribution. We are in touch with them and are in constant conversation on other areas of intervention.”