• Sunday, February 25, 2024
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BusinessDay

MTN eyes growth, not competition – Toriola

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Karl Toriola, CEO of MTN Nigeria, has said telecommunication giant MTN is not competing with other telecommunication providers but instead focuses on providing the best service and securing the most extensive customer base.

According to him, If customers are unsatisfied with us, they will go to another operator overnight at the speed at which sim cards and telephone numbers are changed in Nigeria.

“We are not perfect; many customers are dissatisfied with our service, but we continue striving to improve. But unfortunately, you will always have some complaints at a certain level of success.”

“The competition is centred on providing the best service and securing the largest customer base. If MTN fails in this aspect, we will bear the consequences of customer loss and revenue decline, he said during an interview on AriseTV.

According to him, MTN has grown to its size today because it is doing the right thing to keep its customers.

The company’s actions suggest a proactive approach to not only maintain its market dominance but also to expand its reach and services in an increasingly competitive environment thereby setting it apart from rivals such as Airtel Africa, Globacom, and 9mobile.

MTN has significant investments in upgrading its network infrastructure, aiming to provide faster and more reliable services to its customer base. This move is seen as a direct response to the escalating competition in the telco industry, where speed and efficiency are crucial factors for customer satisfaction.

Data gleaned by BusinessDay from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) shows that MTN Nigeria has continued to give the other mobile networks a run for their money, snagging 85 million subscribers as of August 2023 to lead the pack.

MTN also holds the largest market share of the Nigerian telco market, with 38.5 percent as of August 2023, in second place Globacom, with a market share of 27.8 percent, with Airtel and 9mobile taking 3rd and 4th position of 27.3 percent and 6.2 percent respectively.

The company has expanded its offerings beyond traditional voice and data services to include innovative mobile financial services, digital entertainment platforms, and IoT (Internet of Things) solutions. By doing so, MTN aims to retain its existing customer base and attract new users by providing a comprehensive range of services.

According to MTN Nigeria’s financial report, the company’s revenue grew by 21.76 percent to ₦1.77 trillion in the first nine months of 2023, While it reported a slump in its profit after tax of 45.22 percent to ₦148 billion.

Their profit declined due to foreign exchange (FX) losses and naira devaluation FX exposures on imported goods and services to support their production processes, affecting the company’s operating and finance costs.

MTN’s 9M financials show that it reported FX’s loss of N232.8 billion in the first nine months of 2023 from N27.9 billion in 2022. Airtel Africa recorded a loss of $471 million.

“To avoid the further impact of FX, MTN is localising its spending, which it pays to foreign suppliers, IT suppliers, and many others to Nigerian companies. By doing so, we’re developing them and helping them grow,” Toriola said.

Notably, the amount 9mobile and Globacom made from data and airtime revenues could not be obtained as their financial statements are not made public.

In 2022, MTN Nigeria’s fintech subsidiary, MoMo Payment Service Bank (MoMo PSB) Limited, and Airtel Africa’s SmartCash PSB subsidiary began operations. However, these PSBs won’t provide all banking services, such as lending or foreign exchange transfers.

Similarly, 9mobile’s 9PSB and Globacom’s Money Master were issued Approval-in-principle (AIP) in September 2019 by the apex bank.

With an estimated 40 million unbanked adults in Nigeria, particularly in rural areas, access to these financial services is expected to increase significantly.

In the third quarter of 2023, MTN’s active MoMo PSB wallets rose by 3.6 million compared to 3.1 million in the previous quarter, accounting for 40.6 percent of its fintech customers.

Airtel Africa in its Q1’2023 financials reported that mobile services revenue grew by 19.1 percent in constant currency, supported by the growth of 23.0 percent in Nigeria, 19.8 percent in East Africa, and 13.0 percent in Francophone Africa,

Airtel aimed to target 36.8 percent of unbanked adults through its Smartcash PSB. However, its fintech transactions alongside 9mobile’s 9PSB and Globacom’s Money Master are not made known to the public.