BY DAYO ADESULU
MTN Nigeria said it earmarked N1.4 billion for connecting medical personnel by way of airtime, data and devices for connectivity support to frontline health agencies including Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to combat COVID-19 pandemic.
It said the company was supporting both the federal and state governments with communication systems, analytical response management and risk profiling.
According to MTN, over N500 million worth of airtime, data and analytics, through the Nigerian Governor’s Forum (NGF) had been offered in support of state governments to facilitate communications during travel restrictions.
MTN is also connecting customers with essential health information by offering free data access to be used to access websites with validated information on COVID and making it easier to stay in touch and support each other, adding that up to 300 free SMS per month for all subscribers, ensuring they can communicate with loved ones have also been provided.
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The company said it has also partnered with Ayoba, a messaging OTT provider, to grant free daily data access to its subscribers while free money transfers using the Momo Agent Network from Y’ello Digital Financial Services has also been given.
MTN said on Thursday: “During this extraordinary time, it is vital that we are able to stay connected to the people we love, and to the tools and information, we need to live and work. We understand this, and recognise the immense importance of reliable telecommunications services during this period and have taken the necessary steps to ensure that the services we provide remain available to our customers, in spite of the disruption. This is why our initial priority has been to focus internally on our systems, processes, structures.
“Despite this, it is important to understand that our networks have come under unprecedented pressure as demand has grown rapidly. While all networks ensure there is significant redundancy in place to support peak periods, the level of demand we are seeing consistently exceeds those levels and so, with our regulator, policymakers and colleagues in the industry, we are focused on increasing capacity and sustaining that capacity where it is most needed.”