This year's edition of Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN) Ghana Stakeholder and Media Forum has taken place in Accra.
The purpose of the annual forum is to share an overview of the company's business performance in the previous year and present its focus for the current year.
This year's forum was organized on the theme:" Celebrating Ghana, 60 Years On: A Bold New Digital World for National Transformation".
Presenting an overview of MTN Ghana's performance in 2016, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), MTN Ghana, disclosed that MTN Ghana made a total payment of Ghc 1.1 billion (US$277, 363, 950) as revenue to the Government of Ghana, Ebenezer Asante, has disclosed.
According to Mr Asante, in its 21 years of existence, MTN Ghana had experienced a consistent and transformational growth and that from 27,000 in 1999 MTN subscriber numbers grew to 19 million in 2016.
Apart from growth in subscriber numbers, the company also registered a transformational growth in access, education, business empowerment, financial inclusion, improvement in well-being, entertainment and security.
Mr Asante disclosed that through an ecosystem of partnerships and suppliers, MTN Ghana had provided 500,000 jobs in the year 2016 and gave back to society by investing in sustainable Corporate Social Initiatives (CSIs) through the MTN Ghana Foundation.
He said in nine years, the MTN Ghana Foundation invested Ghc 32.2 million in 142 projects in the areas of education, health, community support and economic empowerment.
He mentioned MTN Ghana Foundation's 20th anniversary legacy projects as the construction of the Maternity Block at the Tema General Hospital which will benefit 20, 000 women on completion in August 2017; the 20th anniversary MTN scholarship which is offering 100 Ghanaian youth access to quality education annually for three years; and the Juaso Oil Palm project which is expected to be completed in April 2017 and from which more than 200 women would benefit directly.
Mr Asante disclosed that 9 Ghanaians were currently on international assignments within MTN Group and that in 2016, MTN Ghana received three awards, namely 'the Best Operation in Employee Culture', 'Best Operation in Employee Sustainable Engagement', MTN Best Operating Company in WECA for Employee Digital Recognition.
On the challenges facing the company, he mentioned Network fibre cuts, load shedding, price competition and uncertainty with Business Operating Permit (BOP) rates.
Furthermore, he said protracted permitting and over taxation were having a negative impact on their operations.
In addition, he said, the absence of a Unified Identification Database was hampering the effective implementation of the Legislative Instrument (L.I.) on SIM Registration and bemoaned the absence of a central telecom policy to promote Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
He noted, however, that MTN Ghana was delivering excellence, despite the changes, adding that in the years ahead, the company looked forward to an enhanced customer experience; rich digital service; service innovation, continuous system improvements and scam education on Mobile Money; network modernization and stability; improved operational efficiency; and to becoming an employer of choice and good corporate citizenship.
In her remarks, Dr Doris Yaa Dartey of the National Media Commission (NMC) congratulated MTN Ghana for the splendid performance and pledged the support of the NMC in its efforts to achieve its set goals.
Dr Dartey appealed to MTN Ghana to resume its sponsorship of the Ghana Journalists Awards.
Mr Affail Monney, President of GJA, in a statement paid glowing tribute to the strides being made by MTN Ghana in the delivery of digital services in Ghana and its overall contributions to national development which he described as phenomenal.
Mr Monney said there was the need to strengthen the bonds of friendship between MTN Ghana and the GJA, adding supporting the GJA to build the capacity of journalists was one area by which such a bond could be consolidated.
He reiterated the call on MTN Ghana to resume its sponsorship of the GJA Awards.
Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)