Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The management of MTN Nigeria has highlighted the support it’s providing for Federal and state governments, health agencies and subscribers as the country fights the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The company, in a press statement on Thursday said it will support government response efforts, connect medical personnels, connect customers with essential health information and make it easier for Nigerians to stay in touch and support each other.
It stated that it will support the government at federal and state levels with communication systems, analytical response management and risk profiling.
MTN went on to state that their support will enhance the capacity and preparedness of each state to manage the outbreak proactively, enabling them to identify the vulnerable segments of the population who require social intervention during the lockdown.
It said: “We have partnered with State Governments through the Nigerian Governors Forum to ensure they stay connected during this period and continue to deliver governance remotely. We are committed to providing this support for as long as necessary and will expand it if the pandemic becomes more acute.
“One of the most important needs in this digital age is the ability to access reliable, validated information about the nature of this pandemic and how to protect yourselves. That is why our partnership with the NCDC includes a channel enabling the distribution of health information to all our subscribers as needed, and free access for subscribers seeking information from the NCDC through their toll-free lines or on the NCDC and Federal Ministry of Health websites. Over N1.4 billion worth of airtime, data and devices for connectivity support to frontline health agencies including NCDC.
“We know that many of us are complying with governments order to stay at home. In order to ensure that all our subscribers, but most importantly those in the most vulnerable situations, are able to continue to communicate with and support their loved ones and friends, we are providing every subscriber with up to 300 free SMS messages per month; and our Y’ello Digital Financial Services subsidiary has suspended transaction fees for all money transfers using the MoMo Agent Network.
“Finally, we understand that access to telecommunication services is only one aspect of the solution that Nigeria needs. Access to healthcare, including the ability to identify and contain infection, is vital. That is why the MTN Foundation has committed N500 million towards addressing emerging medical needs,” MTN stated.
It also stated that the company has partnered with Ayoba, a messaging OTT provider, to grant free daily data access to its subscribers.