Local suppliers benefit heavily from MTN Ghana

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Local Suppliers
Local Suppliers
Spining

MTN Ghana CEO, Selorm Adadevoh has reported that a whopping 75% of its spend on suppliers for the year 2021, went to local entities, which constitute an equally impressive 78% plus of its total number of active suppliers. 

In terms of the actual numbers, MTN Ghana spent over GHS3.2 billion engaging some 1,144 active suppliers in the year under review, of which 897 were local suppliers who got GHS2.3 billion of the total spend.

This, the CEO noted was testament of MTN’s commitment to supporting the local value chain and ensuring that it indeed carries along the entire ecosystem on the path of growth, as Minister of Communication and Digitalization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful charged them to at the launch of MTN Ghana’s 25th Anniversary.

He was speaking with journalists and stakeholders at this year’s MTN Stakeholder and Media Forum, which was virtual event held on Microsoft Teams due to the rising cases of Covid-19 in Ghana.

 

Perspective: This is important because it comes at a time when another key player on the market, Vodafone Ghana has terminated the contract of a long-standing and key local supplier in the Value-Added Service (VAS) space, Rancard, and has transferred all VAS players to the platform of an Indian vendor called Telenity.

Again, since Covid-19 hit the world, countries have been focusing supporting local initiatives and ecosystems, and MTN has proven it is committed to strengthening its local partners to shoulder impact of the pandemic.

Selorm Adadevoh said that as a result of spending heavily on local suppliers – MTN Ghana is now providing over 500,000 direct and indirect jobs through its ecosystem of partners and suppliers, which include internal staff, media and PR agencies, dealers and distributors, content provider (VAS players), printing firms and other industries.

He notes that it was on the basis of the company’s commitment to the local ecosystem that it received the Investment in People accreditation during the year under review, adding that MTN also has the highest number of Ghanaian shareholders on the Ghana Stock Exchange.

Indeed, that prestigious platinum accreditation was also based on a review of MTN Ghana’s people and workplace practices, characterized, among others things, by six new health and wellbeing initiatives to support employees and their families, particularly amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Taxes

While MTN continues to support the local value chain, it also continues to contribute significantly to government tax revenue, paying a total of GHS3.1 billion in taxes, which is 4.4% of government’s total tax revenue for the year.

The total figure of taxes MTN paid comprised of GHS2.54 billion direct taxes to government, GHS297 million Communication Service Tax (CST) and GHS119 million National Fiscal Stabilization Levy, which should have ended way back in 2018, but MTN continues to pay as the only telco doing so.

Again beyond the taxes, MTN also continued to support government initiatives such as ICT Hub Project, Girls In ICT,  Accra Innovation City Project and Ghana CARES Frame in very significant ways.

Still in line with the support for the local value chain, MTN maintains some 250,000 agents across the country, with 175 branches and 440 distribution and sales representatives and some 306 touchpoints across the country, to help deliver better customer experience, according to the CEO.

MTN’s commitment to supporting the local ecosystem fell in line with the regulatory demand for it to pursue national roaming with other industry players; and it has already put measures in place to rollout national roaming with Vodafone in the Volta Region, while working on similar arrangements with AirtelTigo.

Coverage

Selorm Adadevoh noted that whereas MTN will not be able to pilot 5G this year as promised at the close of last year, the company continues to expand its 2G, 3G and 4G networks across the country, with each of them crossing the 90% coverage mark.

MTN’s 2G coverage has now crossed 99%, 3G – 97.8% and 4G coverage is 90.7%. Meanwhile, all 260 districts of the country now have MTN 4G coverage, with some 398 rural telephony sites extending coverage to rural areas.

“Our national long-haul fibre backbone is now 8,784 kilometers and international internet capacity is 320 gigabit per second,” he added.

On the back of that infrastructure, Selorm Adadevoh said, MTN was rated number one network for data speeds by Ookla Speedtest, and number one for voice and data based on network benchmarking performed by Rhode & Schwartz comparing all telcos in Ghana.

Fibre Cuts

But the year did not go down without its own challenges, particularly in the area of fibre cuts and the. The company has experienced a total of 939 fibres in the first five months of 2022, compared to 819 same period in 2021.

According to the CEO, the main culprits in the fibre cuts are road contractors and private developers, adding that such cuts affected at least 11 per cent of traffic on MTN over the period.

Social investment

While spending significantly to fix damaged network infrastructure, MTN also spent some GHS64.9 million on some 157 social projects, which impacted at 4.5 million lives directly and indirectly. The projects comprise of 87 in education, 53 in healthcare, 13 economic empowerment projects and four community support initiatives.

Selorm Adadevoh said MTN has earmarked some GHS20 million for more social projects this year and a whopping US$220 million as capital expenditure (CAPEX) for the year.

He said with the falling cedi against the dollar, the US$220 million earmarked for CAPEX this year will cost MTN more in terms of the cedi value, but the company is committed to making that investment to ensure the necessarily infrastructure is in place to support its digital operator and platform player drive, dictated by its Ambition 2025 strategy.

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