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Telecom Operators as Socially Responsible Organizations

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The impact of telecommunications operators’ business in the country goes beyond service delivery and expansion of telecommunications facilities to giving back to their immediate communities where they are operating. Also referred to as corporate social responsibility (CSR), telecommunications operators have over the past eight years of liberalization of the sector contributed in no small measure in uplifting individuals, communities as well as supporting some government initiatives aside their core business of providing services to Nigerians.
There have been increased demands from employees, customers and government bodies for businesses to be more open about their activities and that they reach and maintain acceptable standards in their business practice.  For employers, CSR is now seen as an important way to increase competitive advantage, protect and raise brand awareness and build trust with customers and employees.
It is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. Ideally, CSR policy would function as a built-in, self-regulating mechanism whereby business would monitor and ensure its adherence to law, ethical standards, and international norms. Business would embrace responsibility for the impact of their activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere. Furthermore, business would proactively promote the public interest by encouraging community growth and development, and voluntarily eliminating practices that harm the public sphere, regardless of legality. Essentially, CSR is the deliberate inclusion of public interest into corporate decision-making, and the honoring of a triple bottom line of People, Planet, and Profit.
The practice of CSR is subject to much debate and criticism. Proponents argue that there is a strong business case for CSR, in that corporations benefit in multiple ways by operating with a perspective broader and longer than their own immediate, short-term profits. Critics argue that CSR distracts from the fundamental economic role of businesses; others argue that it is nothing more than superficial window-dressing; others argue that it is an attempt to pre-empt the role of government as a watchdog over powerful multinational corporations.
In this regard virtually all telecommunications operators be they Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) or Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operators have executed or are executing one CSR initiative or the other depending on their ability to do so.
Nigeria CommunicationsWeek investigations have revealed that MTN Nigeria has a broad approach in its corporate social responsibility initiative, expanding over different sphere of human endeavour.
The telecommunications giant having realized the importance of supporting groups and individuals making its business grow in the country established a foundation in 2004 four years after it launched service to focus corporate social responsibility initiative geared towards reducing poverty and foster sustainable development in Nigeria.
The focus of the foundation is to give back to society and impact the quality of lives in the communities where they operate in a meaningful and sustainable fashion.
For MTN, corporate social responsibility is about making a practical, positive impact on the lives of Nigerians. It affords the company the opportunity of understanding clearly the issues that concern the society and to intervene in the most critical areas.
In less than four years, MTNF has launched over 100 projects which are executed in collaboration with 26 partners in 107 sites across 28 of the 36 states in Nigeria. The projects are delivering tangible value to a growing number of beneficiaries where the company operates.  At the last count, MTNF’s projects were estimated to have touched and helped uplift the lives of over 1,000,000 people.
The SchoolsConnect project is implemented in collaboration with SchoolNet, a local NGO focused on ICT in education. This award-winning project has delivered digital laboratories that serve over 85,000 students and 3,800 teachers in more than 49 secondary schools in poor inner-city and rural communities across Nigeria.
Working with NetLibrary Nigeria, another NGO, MTNF has linked two top Nigerian universities – with one more on the way – to the world’s largest collection of digital resources from over 5,500 libraries and 300 publishers.  A typical online research library is equipped with 125 networked computers, servers, printers, photocopiers, alternative power supply, internet connectivity and a two-year subscription to electronic resources through NetLibrary’s network.  Based on the experience of the local environment and the need for sustainability, detailed written rules are pre-agreed and enforced with the institutions regarding the maintenance of the equipment and upkeep of the library premises.
MTNF is also partnering with UNICEF Child Friendly School Initiative (CSFI) to improve the quality of basic education.  In the first phase, the project has rehabilitated three schools in three states (Bauchi, Lagos and Delta) – providing water and sanitation, as well as text-books and writing and teaching materials to ensure a decent and conducive learning environment for young primary school children.
The MTNF- Partnership Against Aids in the Community (PAAC) is a private sector led initiative which adopts a multi-faceted approach in addressing the HIV/AIDS pandemic.  The project aims to raise awareness and educate approximately 30 million people through mass media and individual contact.  It also aims to provide counseling and testing to over 6,000 people, provide mother-to-child prevention to 600 women and provide capacity building for health care providers. In addition, two out of a projected six Voluntary Counseling Centres have been commissioned and 12 HIV/AIDS self-instruction screens have been installed in strategic locations across the country. The self-instruction screens provide information in English and major Nigerian languages. We believe that they are the first of their kind in Africa.
Through these and other projects, MTNF has acted as a catalyst for change in Nigeria’s evolving social and economic development landscape.  Elements of the MTNF model are now being studied and replicated by a growing number of corporate organizations in and outside the country.
Another telecommunications company Zain Nigeria, recently commissioned several projects worth $1,000,000.00 (one million USD) in University of Ibadan as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility programmes and its brand philosophy of empowering Nigerians to enjoy a wonderful world.
The commissioned projects including a Solar Energy Centre, renovation of Mellanby Hall and construction of a Basketball Court in the Hall, and construction of Car Parks, convenience and offices on Oduduwa Road, are designed to help improve the lives and health of the University community.
Speaking at the ceremony, Gamaliel Onosode, chairman of Zain Nigeria, said the projects was intended for improvement of infrastructure in the nation’s oldest University as part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme.
The solar energy centre or Solar Module hub houses a series of photovoltaic panels which are capable of transforming solar radiation directly into electricity. The centre is capable of generating about 4.8 kilowatt-hour of electricity which will supply power the lighting system in a section of the campus including the University gate and Oduduwa Road.
The Gymnasium which is located at the University’s Sports centre is equipped with a vast array of modern exercise and fitness equipment including treadmill, free weight, trampohness, weight benches, walker, and electronic exercise bikes amongst other equipment. Also, the fitness facility house evaluation room where exercise pre-test such as resting and exercise ECG are conducted on those who intend to use the centre, particularly, the elderly, to determine their fitness level/ state of health and the type of exercise their body and heart condition can cope with before they are allowed to use the equipment.
University of Ibadan also emerged overall winner of this year’s edition of the Zain Africa Challenge.
For Globacom, affinity with the society is second nature. It has chosen sport as major focus of its corporate social responsibility initiative as the company wholesomely sponsors the Nigerian league, Super four league and Confederation of African Football Awards.
More so, Globacom partners with Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) towards the eradication of poverty in the region. The programme, named Self Employment Business Support provides employment opportunities for youths in the region. The initiative is to empower Nigerians and help them become self reliant.
Visafone on its part is not left out as it flagged off its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative early this year with the presentation of some helmets and reflected jackets to some Okada riders. Visafone presented over 200 protective helmets and reflective jackets to Okada riders drawn from Victoria Island – Law school and Eko Hotel Roundabout units.
Working in conjunction with Arrive Alive, an NGO committed to ensuring the safety of motorists and road users across Nigeria, the Visafone official said it launched the initiative as a means of contributing to the safety of road users as well as cushioning the traumatic head injuries suffered by okada drivers who usually drive without helmets while also providing reflective jackets for night time operations.
Speaking at the event, Chike Nwaka, Zonal Commanding Officer, Zone II Head Quarters of the FRSC who was represented by Assistant Corps Commander, M. L Abdullahi commended Visafone for the initiative which he called a “timely and worthwhile venture that will reduce fatalities on our roads and protect the lives of both okada riders and their passengers.”
According to the company, the Bar Beach event is a pilot scheme and will be replicated across the state and country in due course.
Other telecommunications operators such as Etisalat, Zoom Mobile, Starcomms and Multi-Links Telkom have executed some corporate social responsibility projects aside products designed to give telecommunications access to less privilege people in the society. All these have positioned telecommunications operators among organizations that are helping in changing life of Nigerians through corporate social responsibility initiative.

 


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Telecom

WhatsApp to Deactivate Support for Certain Phone Models over Incompatibility

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WhatsApp has announced that it will no longer be supported on a variety of phone models starting from the summer of 2024.


WhatsApp to Deactivate Support for Certain Phone Models over Incompatibility

This decision affects a significant number of devices from popular brands such as Samsung, Motorola, Huawei, Apple, Sony, and LG.

Users are advised to check the list of incompatible devices to determine whether their phones are affected and whether they need to upgrade to continue using WhatsApp securely.

Surprisingly, some of the models on the list are quite old, but due to their decent hardware or lack of upgrade options, some users have been clinging onto WhatsApp for dear life.

At present, WhatsApp is recommending that users only use the app if they have a device running on Android 5.0 or later, or an iPhone with iOS 12 or newer.

The affected models include popular devices like Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus, Motorola Moto G, and various iPhone models like 5, 6, and SE.

This development highlights the rapid evolution of technology and the need for users to stay current with their devices to access essential services like WhatsApp.

As we move towards a more advanced digital age, it becomes increasingly crucial for users to regularly check for updates and ensure compatibility with the latest software and applications.

In light of WhatsApp’s decision to discontinue support for certain phone models, there are several key points that users should be aware of regarding this future incompatibility issue.

One of the main challenges associated with WhatsApp ceasing support for older phone models is the potential security risks involved.

Unsupported devices may become more vulnerable to security threats as they will no longer receive essential updates and patches from WhatsApp.

Additionally, users who are unable or unwilling to upgrade their devices may face difficulties in communicating with friends and family who continue to use WhatsApp.

On the controversial side, some users argue that tech companies should provide support for older devices to ensure inclusivity and accessibility for all users, regardless of their device’s age or specifications.

However, from WhatsApp’s perspective, maintaining support for outdated models may hinder the app’s ability to innovate and introduce new features that require more advanced hardware.


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Glo Deploys AI Services for Customers to Earn Millions while Learning

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Digital solutions services provider, Globacom, has unveiled three innovative AI-focused services that aim to improve customer satisfaction and provide users the chance to profit from AI and win rewards on the network at the same time.

In addition to offering users the possibility to win thrilling rewards through lottery draws, Globacom disclosed in a press statement that the services would offer priceless insights into utilizing AI for everyday requirements.

One of the services, called “Glo Awoof Win EverWage,” is a gaming platform that gives users the chance to either win a lifetime wage or take part in a monthly draw that offers a N12 million prize.

Subscribers will also get regular payments from this service, thus having a steady source of income free from the limitations of a conventional job. Globacom stated that Glo EverWage “promises peace of mind in today’s dynamic economic environment, whether you seek supplementary income or financial stability.”

Subscribers can participate in the drawings for EverWage by calling *20791# and following the instructions to be eligible for a chance to win N12 million per month and daily cash prizes.

In a similar vein, “Glo Awoof Win SMS-to-Ai” uses artificial intelligence (AI) to give users rapid, precise information on any subject without requiring an internet connection.

The “Ask AI by Glo” service is an SMS-based platform that provides users with access to a variety of informational resources, including news, sports scores, weather predictions, traffic updates, educational advice, and celebrity information. By dialing *20791# on their handsets, subscribers can also take part in the network’s jackpot draws for a chance to win thrilling prizes.

Subscribers can also use Glo SMS-to-AI to ask queries even in the absence of internet access, by texting their inquiries to 20791 and the AI platform will respond to them right away. Regular questioners will be informed through their Glo lines and have a chance to win interesting rewards.

The third one, “Glo Awoof Win Ai Fortune”, is an educational service designed to empower users by teaching them how to leverage Ai for generating income and improving business processes.

“From foundational Ai concepts to advanced business strategies, our comprehensive curriculum equips you with the skills to harness Ai for income generation and business enhancement. Subscribers can engage in interactive learning modules, earn certifications, and showcase their expertise in monthly competitions”, the company disclosed.

Subscribers to AI Fortune can obtain study packets to read and enter to win prizes by dialling *20791# and following the instructions.

According to Globacom, users who want to take advantage of the three AI-powered services should dial *20791# on their mobile devices in order to choose among the available options. Daily one-time or auto subscriptions to the services cost N100, weekly one-time or auto subscriptions cost N200, and monthly one-time or auto subscriptions cost N500.


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Y’ello Care since ‘07: 17 Years of Unwavering Commitment to Community Development

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For nearly two decades, MTN has demonstrated a steadfast dedication to community development through its flagship corporate social responsibility initiative, Y’ello Care.

The annual program with the theme “Learn Today, Lead Tomorrow”, now celebrating its 17th year, exemplifies the telco’s commitment to making a positive impact across the various communities it serves.

Launched in 2007, Y’ello Care has evolved into one of the most significant corporate volunteer programs in the telecommunications sector. Each year, employees take time off from their daily tasks to give back to the community and participate in meaningful charitable initiatives, reflecting the company’s fundamental principles of innovation, leadership, and integrity.

The heart of Y’ello Care lies in its volunteers. MTN employees from different departments and regions come together to contribute their time, skills, and resources. This culture of volunteerism not only benefits the communities but also fosters a sense of purpose and camaraderie among its staff.

Since its inception, the Y’ello Care initiative has tackled various social challenges, from education and health to environmental sustainability and economic empowerment. The program’s success is measured by the number of projects completed and the lasting positive changes it brings to the lives of individuals and communities.

Speaking about this year’s edition, Tobe Okigbo, Chief Corporate Services & Sustainability Officer, MTN Nigeria, said “Y’ello Care is about the MTN ecosystem giving back and contributing their time, money, and resources to make a positive impact. This year, we’re focusing on education in remote areas, supporting three projects that will provide access to quality education for young Nigerians,” said

One of the cornerstones of Y’ello Care this year is its focus on education and this year the initiative is supporting the KNOSK charity education initiative (Study Better Packs),building and refurbishing Iwerekun Community High school, providing learning materials, and organizing vocational skills workshops. These efforts aim at bridging the educational gap and equipping students with the skills needed for the future.

Also, Y’ello Care has made significant contributions to improving healthcare services. Through medical outreach programs, health awareness campaigns, and the provision of essential medical equipment, it has helped enhance the quality of healthcare in underserved areas.

Beyond everything,

As Y’ello Care completesits 17th year, the company further proves its committment to deepening its impact on its community. MTN Nigeria’s unwavering commitment to community development through the Y’ello Care initiative is a testament to the power of corporate social responsibility.

The 17-year journey of Y’ello Care tells a remarkable story of dedication, impact, and hope. It serves as an inspiration for other organizations to engage in meaningful community service and underscores the importance of giving back to the society in which they operate.

 

 

 


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