In acknowledgment of its accomplishments in harnessing public relations and communication to foster public-private partnerships and shared value in Nigeria, MTN Nigeria has received five Certificates of Excellence at the 2023 SABRE Africa awards.
The ICT company received nominations at the awards for its services and innovations over the past year in categories including Company of the Year; Corporate Image; Corporate Social Responsibility and; Special Event/Sponsorship and CEO of the Year.
MTN’s growth is evident in its revenue which has doubled from N1 trillion in 2018 to N2 trillion at the end of the financial year in 2022 with its strongest growth achieved in 2021 and 2022 at 22.9 percent and 21.6 percent respectively.
In December 2021, MTN Nigeria became the first Nigerian company to make its public offer of 575 million sales in shares accessible to retail investors through a unique digital platform, Primary Offer. Similarly, the company partnered with the Nigerian government to rehabilitate the Enugu-Onitsha 110-kilometre expressway under the 10-year Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme (RITC). In 2022, the company also launched the Media Innovation Programme in partnership with Pan-Atlantic University to upskill media practitioners in Nigeria.
These initiatives, with efficient public and private stakeholder engagement and communication support by Public Relations and Communications company BHM, culminated in MTN Nigeria and its leadership becoming recipients of the 2023 SABRE Africa Company of the Year and CEO of the Year certificates.
MTN Nigeria’s recent rebranding to a technological company offering a bouquet of digital services has attracted widespread commendation in recent times, and its excellent achievements in the technology space were also rewarded with its recognition as having a great Corporate Image.
The recognition was bolstered by the technology company’s successful acquisition of the 5G spectrum and the launch of the advanced 5G network in different parts of Nigeria in 2022. If properly harnessed, the 5G network is predicted to deliver $13.2 trillion in global economic value by 2035 and can generate 22.3 million jobs in the 5G global value chain alone within the same period. The advanced network has the potential to boost Nigeria’s socio-economic ecosystem, particularly by improving access to essential services such as finance, health, and education.
MTN was also recognised as an organisation with an impactful Corporate Social Responsibility for its innovative Y’ellopreneur, which is distinctive for its ambition to bridge the gender gap in Nigeria’s employment and entrepreneurship landscape. In its debut phase, at least 500 women entrepreneurs were able to build capacity, with 101 receiving funding worth N2 million for their respective businesses under the empowerment programme.
MTN’s contribution to the development of grassroots football in Nigeria and its partnership with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) as the Official Communications Partner earned it a Certificate of Excellence in the Special Event/Sponsorship category.
Over the past two decades, MTN has demonstrated its commitment to elevating Nigeria’s standing in world football by collaborating with the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and investing in various football camps and scholarship programs to develop young footballing talents in the country. The most recent of such transformative programmes by the ICT company was the establishment of the NPFL/La Liga U-15 tournament in 2022 to identify and train the best young football talents in Nigeria.
In a related event, Funso Aina, MTN Nigeria’s senior manager, external relations, became the first African to win the “Innovator of the Year” award in the brands’ category at the 2023 SABRE IN2 Awards.
Speaking on the SABRE recognition, Tobechukwu Okigbo, Chief Corporate Services Officer, MTN Nigeria, said, “We are deeply honoured to have been recognised across multiple categories at the SABRE Africa awards. These accolades are a testament to the hard work and dedication of the team and the contributions of all our partners towards our success.
At MTN, we remain committed to delivering innovative and impactful solutions that enhance the lives of communities where we operate. These certificates are a clear validation of our efforts and we will continue to strive towards excellence in all that we do.”
Effective PR and communication strategies are critical in driving brand awareness, facilitating partnerships, and expanding market share. Due to its increased adoption and its potential to impact brand growth, the global public relations market size is expected to grow to $133 billion in 2027 at a CAGR of 5.7%.
The 2023 SABRE Africa awards ceremony was held in Lusaka, Zambia, as part of the 2023 African Public Relations Association (APRA) Conference. The annual event, organised by PRovoke Media, celebrates public relations and communication excellence in Africa, particularly in the areas of branding, reputation, and engagement.
d.light, Chapel Hill Denham Close N10Bn in Securitized Financing to Fund Off-grid Solar Expansion in Nigeria
d.light, the global provider of transformational household products and affordable finance for low-income households, and Chapel Hill Denham, the largest alternatives asset manager in Nigeria, today announced the closing of a landmark N10 billion (approx. USD$7.4 million) securitised financing facility.
The new financing will be provided by Chapel Hill Denham’s Nigeria Infrastructure Debt Fund and will be used to scale up d.light’s low-cost Pay-Go offering of affordable, solar-powered products targeted at low-income households.
The structure of the financing was set up and is sponsored by African Frontier Capital, who also acts as the master servicer and backup servicer in the transaction.
Commenting on the news, d.light CEO Nick Imudia said, “This landmark financing opens up access to our range of solar-powered household goods to more low-income families and households in Nigeria, in a way that is affordable for them and sustainable for our business.
“d.light has a track record of success in using securitized finance in other Sub-Saharan African countries as a flexible, scalable financing model for raising equity for off-grid solar that is guaranteed against current and future customer sales.
“We are now applying this experience in Nigeria as we scale up our operations there. In Chapel Hill Denham, we have a partner that is not only commercially astute but also equally dedicated to sustainable development.”
Bolaji Balogun, Chief Executive Officer of Chapel Hill Denham, also commented on the transaction, “This transaction signifies a pivotal stride in sustainable infrastructure investment in Nigeria, setting a transformative precedent for the renewable energy sector.
By pioneering local currency securitization for the financing of solar home systems and essential solar-powered household utilities in Nigeria, Chapel Hill Denham is catalyzing innovation in the renewable energy sector, advancing sustainable development, empowering communities, and reshaping Nigeria’s infrastructure landscape for a brighter, more sustainable future for all.”
“This is another significant milestone for Chapel Hill Denham and NIDF, with the first-ever at scale, local currency securitization financing for Solar Home Systems and other solar-powered household goods in Nigeria,” added Anshul Rai, Partner: Infrastructure & Climate at Chapel Hill Denham.
“We continue to broaden the range of financing solutions available to infrastructure providers in Nigeria, with particular emphasis on solving the greatest sustainable development challenges facing Nigeria.”
Last year’s Energy Progress Report, compiled by the International Renewable Energy Agency, the International Energy Agency, the UN and the World Bank, identified Nigeria as the country with the largest number of people (circa. 86 million) without access to electricity. Even those connected to the grid rarely receive a reliable supply.
In addition, nearly 80 percent of Nigeria’s electricity is currently provided by GHG-emitting thermal generation sources, necessitating a rapid transition to clean and reliable energy sources. d.light and Chapel Hill Denham are committed to supporting this energy transition through innovative products and financing solutions.
Crypto Firm, Binance Confirms working with the Nigerian Govt to Block Dollar-Naira Exchange
Cyptocurrency giant, Binance, has said it is working with the Nigerian government to stamp out activities non-complaint with the country’s regulations on its platform.
Binance disclosed this in an announcement on its “commitment to P2P users in Nigeria” on Tuesday, warning that “users behaving in a manipulative way will be removed from the platform.”
“As industry leaders,” Binance said, “We are working hand in hand with local authorities, lawmakers, and regulators to ensure we act on non-compliance.’’
The crypto exchange platform further said it is “setting an upper limit for ads, filtering and removing bad ads, requiring and raising deposits for merchants posting ads as well as processes for actioning against any market manipulators.”
On Tuesday, Binance disabled sell option for its Nigerian users, blocking them from selling fiat currency, USDT, on the platform. It also capped the buy option to $1802 for Nigerian users.
It also disabled purchase of cryptocurrencies via P2P for its Nigerian users, leaving those who might want to sell their crypto assets such as Bitcoin, BNB, Ethereum via P2P stuck.
This comes as another desperate move by the Tinubu-led government to stem naira freefall against the dollar.
Sources close to the Nigerian government have recently been speaking of how cryptocurrency has provided a route for people to circumvent the country’s plan to increase dollar liquidity.
“There is something they call Binance, these guys don’t do anything but speculate,” Ayo Oyalowo, a member of APC’s presidential campaign council told Channels TV on Tuesday evening, Feb. 20.
“Just today alone, they have shifted the value of naira against the dollar from N1,700 to N1,800 within one hour.”
Earlier on Tuesday, the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, directed law enforcement agencies to take firm measures against anyone engaged in foreign exchange market speculation.
“In a concerted effort to safeguard Nigeria’s foreign exchange market and combat speculative activities, the Office of the National Security Adviser and the Central Bank of Nigeria are joining forces to address challenges impacting the nation’s economic stability,” a statement issued by Mr Ribadu’s office read.
It added, “The CBN’s proactive measures to stabilise the foreign exchange market and stimulate economic activities have been commendable. However, the effectiveness of these initiatives is being undermined by the activities of speculators, both domestic and international, operating through various channels, thereby exacerbating the depreciation of the Nigerian naira.”
Lagos Motor Show Receives Accolades
The maiden edition of Lagos Motor Show has been commended for displaying classic and modern cars to the admiration of visitors.
His Royal Highness (Barr) Mohammed Sanni Haliru Dantoro, Kitoro IV. (Mai Borgu), The Emir of Borgu Kingdom, said that the show provided youths the opportunity to witness classic cars and electric cars for the elderly.
He asserted that they were able to see those cars on display because the LMS made it possible “The electric cars that we see in other countries, we are now seeing them coming into our country, which is a blessing to us,” Mai Borgu stated.
Dantoro was speaking at the two-day the Lagos Motor Show which took place at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) Lagos State, Nigeria, between February 16 and 17, 2024.
The highly revered traditional ruler who was the patron of the Lagos Motor Show, aside commending the initiative of the organisers of the Show took time to inspect the vehicles on display especially those models before and after 1960, saying that they are part of the nation’s history.
He further harped on the historical significance of the LMS as majority of the cars on display have not been seen by the younger generation.
He said: “Most of the cars we are seen here in this Lagos Motor Show are part of history because most people have not seen these cars before now. A society without history is no society”.
The Royal Father who commended Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman and Chief Promoter of LMS, appealed to Nigerians whom he acknowledged to be passing through a critical time to exercise patience even though he said nothing happens without the knowledge of the almighty Allah.
Earlier in his address, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman and Chief Promoter of the Lagos Motor Show, posited that the event was an exhibition of new innovation and developments in the auto Industry, from cars before Nigeria’s independence and after the independence.
He added that his passion for motoring as well as writing has snowballed into the Lagos Motor Show that has also exhibited Internet of Things (IoT) in automobiles, energy efficient cars, Electric Vehicles and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) powered low emission vehicles.
He said that the Show would be an annual event and that part of the proceeds from the event and activities would be donated to charitable causes.
Chairman/CEO Saglev, Mr Sam Olugbenga Faleye spoke on the uniqueness of electric vehicles. While speaking he said that there are electric vehicles that can go five to six hours after recharging, he also disclosed that most of the cars are also coming with artificial intelligence(AI).
The CEO disclosed that part of the advantages of electric vehicles is that they don’t need massive engines, he stated that plans are on the way to assemble about eight models of such cars at Ikorodu even though the staff to man such car assembly are still undergoing training.
Saglev, while pointing out the the near indispensability of Nigeria automobile industry stated that the future of electric vehicles in Africa cannot be complete without passing through Nigeria.
Some of the companies and exhibitors at the Show include Toyota by CFAO Toyota, L-Solutions (Toyota, Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Mercedes Benz, E-Mobility) Automobiles.
Other exhibitors includes Suzuki by CFAO Suzuki, Sano by CFAO SANO Trucks, LEXUS – Brass Motors (Mercedes Benz, Lexus, Toyota) Luxury Automobile, BRASS – Marine and Yatch Services Marine services, WORK AND PLAY -Motor Sports Motor Sports Adventure Sports, JETOR by Elizade JETOR, JAC by Elizade JETOR, Services Machinery Trucks (STM)- Volvo VOLVO Trucks, among others.
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