Leading telecommunications company, MTN Nigeria has said that it values its staff, their welfare, remuneration and career development seriously.
MTNN made this known after members of the Private Telecommunications and Communications Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PTECSSAN) accused the telecommunication giant of poor working environment and staff treatments.
President of PTECSSAN, Opeyemi Tomori on Tuesday had said that MTN workers suffer several workplace ills such as discrimination in remuneration, lack of retirement and exit plans for long-term staff, unholy employee relation practices, abuse of expatriate quota policy, increase spate of precarious work, among others.
Tomori warned that members of PTECSSAN would disrupt MTN services by embarking on strike unless their demands are met promptly.
Giving a 14-day ultimatum to MTN, the union advised the network to respond quickly to the telecom workers’ requests, or risk them striking; causing the company to lose subscribers, their businesses, business partners and associates over disruptions.
PTECSSAN also demanded that MTN allow its employees who wish to join the union, to do so without further delay or any form of intimidation.
According to Tomori, MTN Nigeria has remained adamant, insisting that all its workers’ conditions of service as stated in the company’s policy must remain so and cannot be negotiated. He said, “This negates the agreement they hitherto signed at the Ministry of Labour to fully negotiate the workers’ condition of service”.
The union warned that “If any of our demands are not met on or before Feb. 23, 2022, we shall be mobilising in conjunction with other sister unions affiliated to Nigeria Labour Congress workers within and outside the company for industrial actions that will force management to grant our demands.”
In its response on Wednesday, MTN Nigeria claimed that it had not received warnings from PTECSSAN, therefore, it cannot validate or comment on the issue.
The network’s Chief Human Resources Officer, Esther Akinnukawe, in a statement, denied the accusations that it withholds its workers from joining any association. The firm said workers are at liberty to exercise their right to free association.
MTN further explained that it is committed to engagement with PTECSSAN and its representatives via established channels. “If there are any concerns, we are sure that they will be brought to our attention and dealt with in a mutually beneficial manner,” it said.
“Our Company cares immensely about the wellbeing of its workers, and regularly reviews people solutions and policies to ensure that they meet global best practice and make MTN Nigeria a great place to work.”
“We are committed to the development of our people and value their hard work and dedication. Our workforce is our most critical competitive advantage and a key differentiator in the marketplace, so we take staff welfare, remuneration and career development seriously,” MTNN added.
The telecomm firm also mentioned that it has stringent policies in place, which promote meritocracy and protect it’s employees from all forms of harassment and discrimination. MTNN further assured that it “creates a workplace where employees feel valued and safe”.
Nigeria’s 5G Network Subscriptions Soar to Half a Million, Broadband Penetration at 47.01%
The Executive Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, revealed that Nigeria’s Fifth Generation (5G) network subscriptions have surpassed half a million users.
Broadband penetration has surged to 47.01% as of July 2023, marking a significant leap in the country’s telecommunications landscape.
Speaking from Kano, Prof. Danbatta highlighted the remarkable achievements of the telecoms industry since 2015. In July, he reported that 5G subscriptions had surged to over 60,000 in the nation.
Also, he emphasized the nation’s ambitious goals, aiming to achieve 50% broadband penetration by the close of 2023 and a remarkable 70% broadband penetration by the conclusion of 2025.
In a statement, Prof. Danbatta stated, “Moreover, the telecommunications sector has undergone a substantial transformation, with its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growing from 8% in 2015 to an impressive 16% quarterly as of the second quarter of 2023, signifying its growing significance to the Nigerian economy.”
He further elaborated, “Furthermore, the authorization of additional telecommunications companies to operate within Nigeria’s telecoms sector has led to a remarkable upsurge in investments. In 2015, the sector attracted $38 billion in investments, a figure that has now soared to an astonishing $75 billion and continues to rise daily. Notably, the NCC’s sale of 5G C-Band Spectrum has generated over $847.8 million in revenue for the Federal Government.”
In related news, the Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani, emphasized Nigeria’s commitment to bolstering telecommunication connectivity in unserved and underserved communities.
Minister Tijani stressed that connectivity serves as a catalyst for progress and highlighted the nation’s eagerness to establish partnerships aimed at bridging the digital divide.
Nigerian Communications Commission Reports Remarkable Growth in Telecom Sector
Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has revealed impressive figures showcasing the robust growth of telecom investments in the country.
During a recent media interaction held in Kano on Saturday, Danbatta disclosed that the telecom investment inflow in Nigeria had surged from $38 billion to an astounding $77 billion by the second quarter of 2023.
Also, he highlighted that the telecommunications sector had contributed 16 percent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during the same period.
Danbatta attributed this growth to a combination of factors, primarily “thorough sustained regulatory excellence and operational efficiency by the commission.”
Since taking office as the EVC of NCC in 2015, he noted that the sector’s contribution to GDP had more than doubled, from around eight percent to the current 16 percent.
In addition to this, Danbatta underscored the industry’s achievements, stating, “We have witnessed explosive growth, improved regulatory standards, and digital innovation that have generated global recognition.”
He further revealed significant milestones in telecommunications usage, with 218.9 million telephone users, 159.5 million internet subscribers, and 88.7 million broadband users in Nigeria within the reviewed period.
However, Danbatta acknowledged that several challenges still hampered the full potential of broadband deployment in the country. These challenges include issues related to the right of way, fiber cuts, high capital requirements for deployment, multiple taxations, and complex regulations.
Nevertheless, Danbatta assured stakeholders that the NCC was committed to addressing these obstacles and navigating through regulatory complexities, digital divide, and literacy issues.
As part of their initiatives to enhance communication and emergency response, the NCC announced plans to establish emergency communication centers in all 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Furthermore, the commission had increased research grants for universities from N20 million to N30 million, benefitting three universities thus far.
Danbatta explained that the NCC aimed to provide accessible and affordable telecom services as an enabler for the country’s economic advancement.
However, he also highlighted some ongoing challenges, such as the wilful destruction of NCC facilities and the burden of numerous taxes imposed on telecommunications companies.
Despite these challenges, the NCC remains committed to engaging with the media industry and the public to ensure transparency and to keep everyone informed about its activities.
Nigeria’s Largest Telecom Operator, MTN, Enhances Broadband Reach with 10MHz Spectrum Approval
MTN, Nigeria’s leading telecom operator, has received approval for an additional 10MHz spectrum allocation within the 2.6GHz spectrum band.
This development is poised to significantly bolster broadband coverage across all 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory.
Karl Toriola, Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, said, “This additional spectrum will empower us to uphold our commitment to delivering high-quality services to our valued customers while actively supporting the Federal Government’s agenda to expand broadband access nationwide.”
This valuable spectrum allocation was acquired from OpenSkys Services Limited, a reputable indigenous Nigerian telecommunications company licensed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to provide telecommunication services on the 450MHz frequency band.
The 2.6GHz spectrum band is designated for the deployment of terrestrial mobile broadband services.
According to a report by the GSMA, this spectrum band serves as an ideal complement to the 700MHz-800MHz spectrum bands, forming a formidable combination capable of delivering cost-effective nationwide mobile broadband coverage, encompassing both rural and urban areas.
As of December 2022, broadband penetration in Nigeria stood at 47.36 percent. The Federal Government of Nigeria has set a target of achieving 70 percent broadband penetration by 2025. MTN Nigeria’s acquisition of this broadband spectrum allocation is poised to equip the ICT giant with the capabilities required to offer enhanced broadband services to meet the surging demand for widespread and uniform mobile broadband services nationwide.
In the words of Karl Toriola, “This additional spectrum will empower us to uphold our commitment to delivering high-quality services to our valued customers while actively supporting the Federal Government’s agenda to expand broadband access nationwide.”
MTN believes that the integration of this spectrum allocation will lead to a significant enhancement in the customer experience, aligning perfectly with their dedication to delivering exceptional services.
Also, this acquired spectrum will equip the telecommunications operator with the tools needed to deploy advanced broadband technologies, thereby contributing to the realization of Nigeria’s broadband objectives.
A report by the GSMA underscores the pivotal role of broadband penetration, particularly in developing countries, in driving an increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This highlights the urgent need for continuous development and investment in broadband infrastructure, exemplified by the inclusion of the 2.6GHz spectrum band.
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