… Support FG with N500 million through CSR arm
By Idris Bakare
In an aim to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, MTN Nigeria said it has committed a sum of N500 million through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm, MTN Foundation.
According to a statement from the company announcing what it called ‘Y’ello Hope Package’ to address the impact of COVID-19, MTN said it would be providing every subscriber on its networks with up to 300 free SMS messages per month.
The telco said the gesture to the subscribers was to ensure that they can continue to communicate with and support their loved ones and friends.
Aside the free SMS, MTN said its Y’ello Digital Financial Services subsidiary has also suspended transaction fees for all money transfers using the MoMo Agent Network.
The telecom operator said it has also provided all SME customers of its enterprise business with 30 days grace on their March invoices.
According to MTN, SMEs unable to pay March invoices would enjoy uninterrupted services through April.
“This ‘grace period’ is aimed at mitigating the impact of the shutdowns on small businesses, which are the engine of our economy.
It will be further assessed as the situation evolves,” it stated.
Disclosing other efforts of the company in support of the fight against the pandemic, MTN said: “We are supporting government at federal and state levels with communication systems, analytical response management and risk profiling.
These tools will enhance the capacity and preparedness of each state to manage the outbreak proactively, enabling them to identify the vulnerable segments of the population who require social intervention during the lockdown.
“In addition, we are partnering with state governments through the Nigerian Governors’ Forum to ensure they stay connected during this period and continue to deliver governance remotely.
“We are committed to providing this support for as long as necessary and will expand it if the pandemic becomes more acute.”
Noting that one of the most important needs in this digital age is the ability to access reliable, validated information about the nature of this pandemic and how to protect oneself, MTN said its partnership with the NCDC include a channel enabling the distribution of health information to all its subscribers as needed, and free access for subscribers seeking information from the NCDC through their tollfree lines or on the NCDC and Federal Ministry of Health websites.
The statement quoted the MTN Chairman, Ernest Ndukwe, as saying that: “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.”