QUESTION 1: Hello Mrs Uche Ofodile! You have been in Benin, for a while now, can you share some of your experiences? UCHE OFODILE: I’m really enjoying my stay in Benin. One of the biggest challenges I faced was adapting to the language barrier, but with the help of my amazing colleagues and friends, I have been able to fully immerse myself in the beauty of the country. I also had the pleasure of discovering some breathtaking sites and meeting some truly extraordinary people who are making my time here memorable.
QUESTION 2: As MTN Benin’s CEO since 2020, how can you describe the journey so far and the changes you have witnessed within the company, and in the country?
UCHE OFODILE: These last three years at the head of MTN Benin have been an enlightening journey. I have witnessed the growth and transformation of our company and this beautiful country.
In 3 years, we have improved our services, extended network coverage, and strengthened our relationships with our consumers. Mobile Money now has over 4 million customers.
We strive to reduce the digital gap, bring connectivity to remote areas, and give people the tools to build a better future. MTN remains the leader in digital services and the MTN Foundation also does a lot for communities, contributing to women’s empowerment, youth employment and financial inclusion.
It’s an honor to be part of this and to make a difference to the lives of those around us.
Benin’s incredible growth has been a real inspiration, and I’m delighted to be a part of it.
I can confidently say that the last three years have been great in every way, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for MTN and this dynamic country which is Benin.
QUESTION 3: Recently there were some incidents over the MoMo platform that have impacted customer trust and confidence. What measures did MTN take to increase the reliability of its mobile money services?
UCHE OFODILE : We take our responsibilities seriously and continue to work tirelessly to resolve any problems quickly and proactively.
I totally understand that these incidents may have affected the trust of our customers, as we are aware of the importance of the mobile money service in the lives of our communities.
We will continue to do everything in our power to ensure its reliability and security.
Among other things, we have increased our investment in technology infrastructure and are working closely with the regulatory authorities to ensure that we continue to meet the highest standards for the security and performance of our mobile money platform.
We are committed to regaining the trust of our customers and fulfilling our promise to offer them all the benefits of a modern, connected world.
QUESTION 4: Customers are complaining about the pricing. What is MTN doing to address customers preoccupations? UCHE OFODILE : I understand the concerns and frustrations of our customers, I can assure you that we are actively committed to engaging with them to better understand their needs and expectations, and we have taken steps to improve the value we offer. We understand that affordability is key, and we can say that from 2019 to today, the prices of our most popular packages have decreased and are tailored to our customers’ needs.
Believe me, we take all this very seriously. Concerns such as the fast-ending data bundles and airtime can sometimes be resolved by adjusting our customers’ phones correctly. But we also need to understand that a faster connection requires a lot more data (MB).
We constantly analyze our offers to ensure that they are fair, and we are committed to providing a high-quality service. Our aim is to make our customers feel valued.
QUESTION 5: With the increasing threat of cyber-attacks and data breaches, can you tell us what is MTN’s approach to managing these risks, and to keep customer data safe?
UCHE OFODILE : At the top of MTN’s list of concerns are cybersecurity and data confidentiality !
Our group has around twenty subsidiaries and we are leveraging this strength to implement a global approach that ensures our customers’ personal information are kept safe and secure.
This approach includes regular risk assessments and vulnerability scans to identify potential weaknesses in our systems, as well as continuous learning and sharing of best practice with our fellow companies.
Staff are trained on an ongoing basis and awareness programs ensure that everyone at MTN is aware of the importance of privacy. We have also put in place a series of technical controls and security measures to protect personal data against unauthorized access.
These measures include intrusion detection and prevention systems, firewalls, and data encryption to protect our platforms such as Mobile Money and MTN Business.
We also work closely with the APDP (the Personal Data Protection Authority) and comply with all data protection regulations.
MTN is committed to continually improving its security measures so that our customers can have full confidence in entrusting us with their personal information.
QUESTION 6: MTN is the leader in the telecom industry in Benin. With the recent arrival of a new telecom company labelled«100% Benin», how is MTN tackling the competition?
UCHE OFODILE: It’s kind of you to recognize our position as Benin’s leading telecoms operator. It’s a heavy responsibility that we carry with honor!
Wherever you go in Benin, MTN is there! Most of our teams are Beninese, we are at the service of the Beninese, and we are committed to offering them all the advantages of a modern and connected life. I think that makes us a 100% Beninese company! Right?
We are in support of a healthy and fair competitive environment and believe that this is good for the consumer. We want to provide our customers with the best possible service, by constantly improving our offers, listening to their needs, and adapting to changing market dynamics to remain relevant and competitive. We are determined to build on our strengths to maintain our position as market leader in Benin.
QUESTION 7: What innovative projects is MTN launching?
UCHE OFODILE: Hmm, where do I start from?
We’ve launched the NETWORK CAMPAIGN to showcase the powerful connections MTN has made possible and all the achievements we’ve made over the last few years in Benin to increase coverage and improve our services.
We are very excited to announce the launch of the 5G, which will revolutionize the way people and businesses connect and communicate.
We are also proud to introduce the MTN SELF SERVICE CARE MACHINE, designed to provide a more convenient experience and allow customers to access information and get help for any issues they may have quickly and easily.
At MTN, we are always looking for ways to innovate and improve our services. Several exciting MTN business propositions, tailored to the expectations of today’s consumers, will be unveiled soon.
QUESTION 8: You mentioned a network campaign and the launch of the 5G. Can you tell us more? UCHE OFODILE:
The launch of 5G is a major milestone and we believe it will have a transformative impact on the way people connect and communicate. 5G will enable millions of devices to communicate in real time, paving the way for a new generation of smart technologies. This is set to revolutionize a wide range of sectors, from education and healthcare to transport and entertainment. The network campaign highlights how MTN connects individuals, families, and businesses across Benin, enabling them to communicate, learn and grow. Our network is the heart of our service, and we take great pride in facilitating connections. We want to highlight the ways in which MTN has a positive impact on the lives of its customers. The network campaign will run for 12 months and will enable us to gather feedback from our customers.
At MTN, we don’t claim to know everything, we want to listen to what YOU have to say, and we look forward to continuing to meet Benin’s communication needs.
QUESTION 9: I have come across the TITA by MTN project and was curious about what motivated MTN to invest in this initiative? UCHE OFODILE : The project TITA by MTN is one of my great sources of pride.
As a Beninese company, our role is to invest in the country’s success.
MTN is committed to empowering young people to create a better future for Beninese. Benin is a country of youngsters; let’s not forget that more than two-thirds of the population is under the age of 25.
We believe it is essential to invest in the technological skills of young graduates.
The CEOs of tomorrow are being trained right now. TITA is a way for us to give back to the community and support the next generation of innovators and leaders.
By providing young graduates with the skills, they need to succeed in a digital world, we are helping to create a more prosperous society.
Through TITA, we aim to achieve a number of objectives, such as:
– providing young graduates with valuable skills for a successful career
– Fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in Benin
– Developing a stronger workforce capable of supporting the growth of the technology sector and contributing to the country’s economic development.
– Encourage greater collaboration between schools and the private sectors to stimulate innovation and progress. In the long term, I firmly believe that TITA will have a significant impact on the lives of the young and on the country as a whole. By investing in the potential of young graduates, we are creating a better future for everyone. We look forward to seeing the positive impact TITA will have over the next 5 years and are committed to continuing to invest in initiatives that support the growth and development of Benin, #LeBeninQueJaime, The Benin We Love.
QUESTION 10: MTN is really committed to innovation, its newest, the Self-care service machine is the very first machine of the kind in Benin. What are the benefits?
UCHE OFODILE : We’re proud to put the power in our customers’ hands !
In line with our digitalization strategy, we want to promote self-service. In addition to the machine, you also have our various applications. The self-care machine gives our customers easy access to MTN services and products. They can top up their airtime, buy data bundles and manage their accounts, which saves time and makes our services more accessible to everyone. The ATM is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so customers can access our services at a time that suits them best. This is particularly important for those with busy schedules or those who don’t have access to traditional customer service channels. We want to continue to meet our customers’ needs in innovative ways.
QUESTION 11: Benin’s government has set ambitious goals to increase connectivity and digital infrastructure across the country. How is MTN contributing to these efforts and to the nation’s economy?
UCHE OFODILE: MTN is committed to supporting the government and has set up several projects for the development of the digital ecosystem.
For example, we have invested in expanding network coverage across the country, including the provision of the 3G and 4G networks in remote areas. Modernizing the network, upgrading the international link and building new sites, to name but a few, will enable MTN to be more efficient and closer to its customers.
MTN also supports Benin’s development through various initiatives conducted in partnership with the government (digital project LEARN, dispatchingl of aid funds across the country, etc.), and by providing an extensive mobile services platform that enables customers to access financial services such as insurance and savings (MoMo Sayaa), thereby stimulating financial inclusion and contributing to economic growth.
Overall, MTN plays a vital role, and we are proud of our efforts to drive innovation and progress in the country, and we remain committed to supporting the government’s goals for a connected and prosperous Benin.
QUESTION 12: Contribution to the economy can also depend on market regulations. How does MTN engage with policy makers and regulators ?
UCHE OFODILE : Of all the countries I have worked in, Benin is one of the best in terms of opportunities. As a responsible Beninese corporate citizen, MTN appreciates the importance of an enriched environment for sustainable economic growth. We proactively engage with policy makers and the regulator to advocate for policies that support sustainability and national priorities. Benin has a single goal: ACCESS FOR ALL and the ability to use digital services, which fits perfectly with our own ambitions to bring the benefits of a modern, connected world to all our customers.
MTN works with the regulator to ensure that it has the right information to make the best decisions. Our commitment includes dialogue and consultation to better understand the vision and objectives, and to provide valuable input from our industry experience.
We also organize meetings with stakeholders to share information about our sustainability initiatives and explore ways of working together to achieve common goals.
MTN takes a truly proactive approach, and we remain committed to working with all stakeholders to create a sustainable future for Benin.
QUESTION 13: Climate change is a global concern, what is MTN’s approach to managing and reducing its environmental impact? UCHE OFODILE : MTN is implementing several measures to mitigate the impact of its activities on climate change. Our approach is aligned with global best practice and standards. We have an ambitious ESG strategy and have set strict targets to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, and we are working to monitor our performance. We are committed to using less fossil fuel to monitor our network, our amazing technical teams are using more renewable energy sources and have invested in solar power systems at several of our sites. We’ve also invested in tree planting to support our efforts.
We also believe that collaboration, dialogue, and partnerships with key stakeholders are essential to tackling climate change. We are committed to working with governments, civil society organizations and other stakeholders to promote sustainable development and mitigate the effects of climate change both in Benin and beyond.
QUESTION 14: Staff is an important asset, how does MTN approach diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and what steps the company takes to create a friendly environment?
UCHE OFODILE : That’s my favorite topic ! Without a committed workforce, it is difficult to implement projects. MTN values the contributions of all its staff and strives to create a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming working environment to be an employer of choice.
We approach diversity and inclusion by valuing and respecting differences, embracing diverse perspectives, and fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation. The diversity of our teams reflects the communities we serve, and we recognize that creating an inclusive workplace requires constant effort and dedication. We are proud to have a very diverse team, 95% of whom are Beninese, with the rest of African nationalities.
We have implemented several initiatives, including diversity and inclusion training, mentoring and leadership development programs. We want to have high-performing, passionate and dynamic employees, and we prioritize employee training and development, as well as opportunities for career growth and advancement.
Our Y’ello graduate program is proof of our efforts, and we continue to measure our performance through our feedback mechanisms which help us to identify areas for improvement. Diversity and inclusion are essential, and we promote a supportive office environment for all our employees.
QUESTION 15: To conclude, is there anything else you would like to highlight or any message you would like to convey? UCHE OFODILE : The company you know today as MTN has been present in Benin for more than 20 years. The name has changed, the brand is different, and the technology has evolved, but the mission has remained the same: to serve Benin, to serve YOU, to serve our communities and to make a difference.
We are proud to support empowerment initiatives through our foundation, which turns 15 in 2023. Our program includes vocational training and education, as well as initiatives for sustainable growth and development. We are committed to remaining a responsible corporate citizen and strive to maximize our positive social impact by promoting shared value in Benin. I would like to seize this opportunity to send a message of gratitude to the people of Benin for their continued support, loyalty, and trust.
I sincerely thank the Beninese authorities for their openness, which has enabled us to witness the country’s rapid growth with amazement. Finally, I would like to renew our commitment to providing high-quality services and all the benefits of a modern, connected world to everyone. To conclude, this is just the beginning.
There are so many great things ahead of us…