• Monday, July 22, 2024
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Driving real inclusion to achieve shared value, digitally

WEF identifies five immediate risks facing Nigeria’s economy

If you ask a range of stakeholders across Nigeria what it is that drives the country’s economy, they are likely to tell you that it is oil, agriculture or the recently fast-growing ICT sector.

But who extracts the oil? Who farms the fields? Who makes the calls and who consumes the products?

The answer is the Nigerian people. It is ordinary Nigerians that drive the economy, every minute, of every day.

That is why the concept of inclusion is so important. Not because it should be an obligation of the government, or the private sector to help people that need it, but because it is a fundamental prerequisite for Nigeria to achieve its economic potential. We cannot build the nation that we want if 38 million Nigerians are completely excluded from the financial services sector, or if several million Nigerians do not have access to mobile telephony or the internet.

Not only can we not achieve our aspirations, but we also cannot provide the basic support and services that vulnerable people need in order to escape the poverty that binds them.

Read also: Emefiele paints optimistic picture of Nigeria’s economy

What we are able to achieve when we do succeed in including Nigerians in the economy is incredible. About 40 million Nigerians have bank accounts, and they have access to truly world-class financial services, integrating technology faster than many developed markets and a true leader in the emerging payments segment. Over 69 million Nigerians have an MTN subscription, whether they use it to send one text a month, or run high-powered businesses, they each contribute and each one is important.

It is these customers that are the foundation of our, and every other business. Many of them have used MTN services loyally for the 20 years we have been connecting people. Many have left and come back. All provide value to our business in one way, shape or form; we have 20 years of experience to prove it.

That is why, when we looked at the journey that MTN needs to go on over the coming years to achieve its own potential, we carefully thought about the concept of inclusion, and what it meant for us.

There is no stronger way to demonstrate a commitment to inclusion than by offering as many people as possible the opportunity to participate in your success, as shareholders.

The on-going public offer for sale of shares in MTN Nigeria has been deliberately designed to be as inclusive as possible.

Dr. Ernest Nudkwe is chairman, MTN Nigeria plc