MTN Group dedicated some R250 million (US$15million) worth of relief packages in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, the African telecoms giant said its response has been customized to suit the needs of each of its 21 markets, particularly those in dire need of such intervention because they are facing enormous challenges managing the pandemic.
The response comprised five key intervention initiatives focusing on employees, customers, vulnerable groups, contributions to governments Covid-19 funds and participating in industry interventions.
In Ghana, MTN rolled out all five strategies, topping it with a GHC5million package to the government’s COVID-19 fight.
“We believe it is the responsibility of all organizations to assist where they can during the pandemic. MTN plays a vital role in the mobile and telecommunications industry across Africa and the Middle East and it is vital that we assist our employees, customers and stakeholders during this difficult time,” Chairman of MTN Group, Mcebisi Jonas said.
Meanwhile, the Group also raised some R40 million (US$2.4 million) for the MTN Global Staff Emergency Fund for employees in need, mainly through contributions from the Group’s directors, managers and general staff.
“The Chairman, Group CEO, Group CFO and a number of MTN Group directors pledged 30% of their board fees and salaries for the three months. The executive teams of both MTN Group and MTN South Africa also contributed to the fund. In addition, other staff members were also allowed to contribute by making salary sacrifices,” a statement on the Group’s website said.
Furthermore, over R150 million (US$9 million) went into Y’ello Hope Package for customers – that included free SMS services, the waiving of fees for certain mobile money transactions, discounted calling during off-peak periods, zero-rating of certain health, social services and educational sites and payment concessions to it business customers.
So even before Bank of Ghana directed telcos to give free mobile money transfer service, MTN had planned to give those reliefs to customers in Ghana and elsewhere in view of the COVID-19.
“Utilizing our services and technologies for the greater good is key at the moment. We can positively impact millions of lives and our main focus is on keeping our network in good working order and enable our customers to connect with their loved ones during this most difficult time for all,” said Rob Shuter, MTN Group President and CEO.
The statement said MTN is also mobilizing the work of the MTN Foundations across the markets to reach those most vulnerable through contributions towards tackling health emergencies to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and enabling students to remain productive by accessing vital school and university content with a total contribution of at least R50 million (US$3 million).