As more and more people nationwide brace for the immense human, economic, and social cost of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board, Management and Staff of MTN Nigeria and the MTN Foundation have reiterated telco’s commitment to helping Nigerians stay connected and support efforts to contain the outbreak.
MTN Nigeria said that COVID-19 is a new test of the country’s collective strength, and has responded to this by deploying the first phase of a broad set of investments in support of the national effort to contain the pandemic.
Towards this end, MTN Nigeria said it is supporting the Federal and State Governments’ response efforts with communication systems, analytical response management and risk profiling, adding that it has also supported the fight with 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.
It further stated in a statement that it has committed over N1.4 billion worth of airtime, data and devices for connectivity support to frontline health agencies including the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, adding that it has helped in connecting customers with essential health information through Free data access to be used to access websites with validated information on COVID-19.
MTN Nigeria further noted that whereas it is offering up to 300 free SMS per month for all its subscribers, ensuring they can communicate with loved ones, it has partnered with Ayoba, a messaging OTT provider, to grant free daily data access to its subscribers, as well as free money transfers using the MoMo Agent Network from Y’ello Digital Financial Services.
“During this extraordinary time, it is vital that we are able to stay connected to the people we love, and to the tools and information, we need to live and work. We understand this, and recognise the immense importance of reliable telecommunications services during this period and have taken the necessary steps to ensure that the services we provide remain available to our customers, in spite of the disruption. This is why our initial priority has been to focus internally on our systems, processes, structures.
“Despite this, it is important to understand that our networks have come under unprecedented pressure as demand has grown rapidly. While all networks ensure there is significant redundancy in place to support peak periods, the level of demand we are seeing consistently exceeds those levels and so, with our regulator, policymakers and colleagues in the industry, we are focused on increasing capacity and sustaining that capacity where it is most needed,” MTN said in the statement.
MTN Chairman Dr. Ernest Ndukwe said; “The threat that COVID-19 represents to Nigeria requires an unprecedented response from the public and the private sector. We must all work together to develop and deliver the solutions that will allow us to contain this threat and protect the most vulnerable in our communities across the country.
This first phase of support is targeted at the interventions that we are best positioned to deliver at this stage. As the situation evolves, we are fully committed to deepening and extending these commitments in order to provide all the support we can to the government, and to our people. It is only by working together, that we can overcome this challenge. I would like to take this opportunity to recognise the collaborative spirit with which all stakeholders are working to contain COVID-19.
We all have a role to play in stemming the upheaval we have seen brought on by this pandemic globally. To protect each other, our families and keep the most vulnerable in our communities healthy we must all make it a priority to STAY SAFE. Listen to health experts, be disciplined about personal hygiene and practice social distancing. Working together, we can change the course of this pandemic. And because ‘We are good together,’ we will get through this.”