MTN Nigeria Plans 5G Rollout For H2 2022, Partners Pan-Atlantic Varsity On Media Programme

Photo caption: from left, the Publisher, The Culture Newspaper, Steve Ayorinde; Vice Chancellor, Pan-Atlantic University, Prof. Enase Okonedo; Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, Karl Olutokun Toriola;  Dean, School of Media and Communication, Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos, Dr. Mike Okolo, and Co-founder and co-executive producer, TNC Africa, Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi, at the launch of the MTN Media Innovation Programme held at Honeywell Auditorium, Lagos Business School on Wednesday 27 April, 2022

The Chief Executive Officer of telecommunication giant- MTN Nigeria, Karl Toriola, says the company plans a rollout of the Fifth Generation (5G) network service across the country in the second half of this year, after winning the license through what he called a transparent auction process.

Speaking in Lagos on Wednesday during the unveiling of MTN’s partnership with Pan-Atlantic University (PAU) to launch a Media Innovation Programme (MTN MIP), by PAU’s School of Media and Communication (SMC), Toriola, while congratulating the Nigerian Communications Commission for the feat, said: “We paid the full license fee a month ahead of schedule.

“Within the Information Memorandum that the NCC issued, there was a timeline, which indicated that we can launch in H2. We are prepared to launch on the day that the investment memorandum allowed us to, and we will explore with the NCC if they allow us. It is still completely at their discretion, but we are fully ready, even now,” he added.

The MTN chief, also said at the occasion that since its inception, the firm has paid N3.5tr in taxes to the government, and over N3.4tr in capital investment, noting that the company’s recent sale of its ownership stake to Nigeria by 65% and below was part of efforts to create more value to the society.

According to him, the major focus of the company is to get more Nigerian retail investors into the company, “MTN Nigeria plans to progressively reduce its ownership to 65% through series of offer for sale. MTN is not exiting Nigeria under any circumstances but part of identifying as Nigerian institution is creating share value for the society.

“As our revenue and subscribers increase, we believe that for us to be socially conscious is by ushering our value position to Nigerians,” adding that the company has paid over N2.5tr dividends to shareholders since inception and generated over 25% capital appreciation from the recent offer for subscription.

“Our focus is on retail investors because 158 new shareholders of MTN, 78 per cent were women, and 80% were under the age of 40. Now these are direct investors. There are a lot of other shareholders that bought into MTN through institutions like pension fund which hold money on behalf of Nigerians. There are up to six million Nigerians that indirectly hold a stake in MTN Nigeria.”

He said companies that consciously share value with communities where they operate show a better return on a long-term basis than others. “We care about the environment we operate, we want to share value, in today’s world, companies that consciously share value with communities they operate in show a better return on a long term basis than others.”

Speaking on the MTN NIP, the MTN CEO explained that it is a six-month, fully funded fellowship for Nigerian media practitioners and is designed to support the sustainable development of the nation’s changing media scene. He said it is open to media practitioners across the spectrum, including print, electronic, online platforms and social media content creators.

According to him, the course is designed to give participants a greater understanding of Nigeria’s technology sector and the nexus between media and technology; it will also leave participants better able to adapt to changing realities, adding that fellows will also have access to professional resources and mentorship from the SMC faculty.

“We are driven by our belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected world and are driving accelerated growth by leading digital solutions for Nigeria’s progress. Against this backdrop, the media landscape continues changing at remarkable speeds, boosted by new technologies. Thus, it is only fitting that we support developments in the Nigerian media space with our infrastructure and enable capacity building initiatives to enable innovation in media practice.

“It’s a delight to partner with the Pan-Atlantic University, who, through their expertise, have contributed to the professional development of the media industry, not only in Nigeria but across Africa,” Toriola noted.

Vice Chancellor, Pan-Atlantic University, Professor Enase Okonedo, said: “The School of Media and Communication was established to train professionals who will uphold the highest intellectual, ethical and professional values that promote creativity, critical knowledge, social responsibility and the spirit of enterprise. The MTN Media Innovation Programme could not have come at a better time for Nigerian media practitioners to imbibe these pertinent values.”

The six-month, fully funded fellowship for Nigerian media practitioners is designed to support the sustainable development of the nation’s changing media scene. It is open to media practitioners across the spectrum, including print, electronic, online platforms, and social media content creators.

The course is designed to give participants a greater understanding of Nigeria’s technology sector and the nexus between media and technology; it will also leave participants better able to adapt to changing realities. Fellows will also have access to professional resources and mentorship from the SMC faculty.

“We are driven by our belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected world and are driving accelerated growth by leading digital solutions for Nigeria’s progress. Against this backdrop, the media landscape continues changing at remarkable speeds, boosted by new technologies. Thus, it is only fitting that we support developments in the Nigerian media space with our infrastructure and enable capacity building initiatives to enable innovation in media practice.

“It’s a delight to partner with Pan-Atlantic University, who, through their expertise, have contributed to the professional development of the media industry, not only in Nigeria but across Africa,” Karl Toriola, CEO, MTN Nigeria, noted during the launch of the event.

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