MTN invests GHC139 million in Covid-19 fight

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By the close of December 2020, MTN Ghana had committed a whopping GHC139 million to the Covid-19 fight in Ghana.

MTN Ghana CEO, Selorm Adadevoh announced this to shareholders of the company at their third annual general meeting (AGM), to which shareholders attended and voted virtually.

He noted that MTN’s initiative to tackle Covid-19 was dubbed Y’ello Hope, designed with specific interventions for workers, customers and government.

“Our commitment on Y’ello Hope initiatives to brighten lives was valued to be GH¢139 million as at the end of December 2020,” he stated.

The third AGM, which is the first to be held virtually, is being attended by shareholders and their proxies via http://mtnghagm.com and on Microsoft Teams.

Selorm Adadevoh noted that year 2020 was a challenging year for all businesses due to the outbreak of Covid-19, but MTN focused on supporting its people, customers and government through various interventions that eventually paid off.

He said under the “Y’ello Hope”, health and safety of staff was paramount as reflected in comprehensive measures put in place to facilitate remote work while ensuring workers delivered on targets.

The MTN CEO said the company also provided 80 buses to convey frontline workers between home and office to reduce contact with other persons and thus prevent the spread of Covid-19.

According to him, MTN also had a daily health monitoring survey in place to ensure that workers who needed any special attention got it.

“For our customers we collaborated with Bank of Ghana to provide free person to person mobile money transfers of up to GHC100 a day and that saved customers up to GHC94 million in transfer fees,” he said.

He said the measure also prevented face to face interaction and deepened financial inclusion, adding that the free transfer offer has been extended until further notice.

Selorm Adadevoh also recalled that MTN also provided free access to over 200 education sites, which is benefiting between four to five million students and teachers at various levels of education, plus MTN also gave more scholarships under its Bright Scholars initiative.

To government, he said MTN zero rated visits to several government sites where individuals could access health and other vital information, plus it donated GHC5million worth of PPEs and other vital equipment to government for the benefit of frontline health workers.

“We also donated 87,000 boxes of face masks to 31 health facilities and there is more support ongoing via the US$25 million the MTN Group has offered to the African Union for the Covid-19 fight,” he said.

During the period, MTN also embarked on the “BE WISE” initiative, which transitioned into the “WearItForMe” campaign as part of efforts to combat the spread of Covid-19.

Selorm Adadevoh said as MTN progresses through year 2021, “we will remain focused and dedicated to supporting our people and customers while ensuring network resilience and efficiency.”

MTN is the only telco in Ghana that has so far provide over 360,000 Covid-19 vaccines to government and has committed to providing even more through the groups support for the African Union.

Performance

Meanwhile, the company reported a whopping GHC1.4 billion profit after tax for year 2020, and has therefore declared some 8Gp per share dividend.

This means MTN is paying out almost GHC615 million representing 70.49% of its profits in dividends, far higher than the 50% stipulated by Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE).

The company continued to maintain its market leadership and customer confidence in the  brand by adding 4.6 million new customers, bringing its total subscriber base to 24.4 million as at the end of the period.

This growth, according to the CEO, was helped by the heightened need for reliable and
resilient data and digital services amid Covid-19.

“We increased our rural coverage and our 4G population coverage reached 71.7% resulting in an addition of 2.6 million active data subscribers,” he said.

Regarding the performance on its mobile money (MoMo) subsidiary, Selorm Adadevoh told shareholders the mission to drive financial inclusion, saw MTN add 53,000 new Mobile Money agents bringing its total to 206,000, and also added 49,000 new merchants to reach a total of 172,000.

“We gained 1.5 million new active MoMo users for the year, bringing our total active users to 10.6 million,” he said.

The CEO also reported a whopping GHC1.5 billion in total capital expenditure on network capacity and infrastructure expansion to drive quality service data and Mobile Money customers as the company marched towards becoming a data operator in 2023.

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