MTN is a multinational South African based mobile services provider. It was founded in 1994 at the dawn of democracy in the nation. Its revenue by 2015 had risen to US$15 billion. With a number of employees exceeding 17 500, MTN is one of the countries giant. It has operations in 22 countries, from Botswana to Cyprus. It has more than 230 million subscriber base. In 2015 MTN was named Africa’s most valuable brand and the year prior it was the most admired brand in Sub-Sahara Africa.
In the 2000’s MTN began rapid expansion into the continent and was awarded operational license in most countries. Nigeria was one of them; it has grown since its launch to 60 million subscribers, making this West African market the most lucrative and biggest in the continent. The brand is strongly recognized and most people in the West African country when they think MTN, they perceive reliable mobile services carrier.
It has not been an easy relationship with the regulators of Nigeria for MTN to continue to conduct business, there have been challenges and the brand knows that it needs to follow the rules set out by the regulators in the country. It was fined more than US$8 billion for contravening and failing to register and capture personal details and link it to the network sim cards. The settlement is still being discussed between the regulators and the company. Nigerian authorities say that MTN owes US$2 billion in back taxes and needs to settle this bill.
Nigerian Communications Commission Chairman Olabiyi Durojaiye said the regulator is in the process of working with MTN resolve the situation.
Even with the lawsuit and back taxes, MTN remains confident of the West African market that it will continue to be the leading service provider. Chief Executive Officer Rob Shuter stated during a conference that MTN will apply for mobile-money license. When that is approved, it will be followed financial-services platform in 2019 to cover their more than 60 million subscribers.
Mobile money by MTN is already operational in West African countries like Ghana. It is a cost effective service that provides money transfer to individuals or communities that don’t have bank accounts or can’t easily access banking services. The recipient only needs to have a phone and a MTN Mobile-money registered account which is linked with the mobile number. The sender inputs the amount they want to transfer, and then send it to the recipient. When the mobile-money is transferred, the recipient can use it to buy airtime, pay for bills, groceries, transportation. The money is always in local currency. The network provides security through encrypting personal information for it not to be tempered with.
In West Africa MTN mobile-money is growing and money can be transferred between countries where MTN is the mobile carrier. The currency is converted into local money at a very low competitive rate. The convenience and low cost that services offers has great benefits where money is tight. MTN is keen on continued investment into West Africa and aims to make the mobile-money a success in Nigeria and hopes to grow its subscriber base through this proposition.