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MTN Foundation partners organisations to fight against drugs abuse

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Drugs

MTN Foundation says it has entered into partnership with other organisations in its bid to rid the society of the menace of drug abuse.

Its Chairman, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, made this known in a statement issued by the organisation in Lagos on Monday.

Adelusi-Adeluyi stressed the need for collaboration among corporate organisations in Nigeria to successfully fight against substance abuse.

According to the statement, he spoke at a virtual event to commemorate the 2020 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in partnership with Business Day, MTV Base Africa, and Netng.

It featured in-depth discussion from professionals across various sectors including health, entertainment, business as well as the public sector.

Adelusi-Adeluyi said: “Through the Anti-Substance Abuse Programme (ASAP), the MTN Foundation hopes to communicate the urgency required to tackle the growing menace of drug abuse in our society.

“Our aim is to create a drug-free Nigeria in collaboration with relevant stakeholders. We are happy that various guilds, organisations and active centres have come together to support this cause.

“It is our duty to build a healthier and cleaner community for Nigerians and this can only be done through an alliance against drug abuse.”

Also, the statement quoted the Minister of Youths and Sports, Sunday Dare, as decrying the rising rate of substance abuse and advised on policies that can be implemented.

“We need laws that will criminalise the selling of these drugs to under-aged children. We must institutionalise the process of drug education from primary to secondary school in a consistent and deliberate manner.”

“We need a system that rewards best practices and punishes bad conduct, to the maximum. The youth have a responsibility just as the government, it’s a two-way partnership”, Dare said in the statement.

In his remarks, the Country representative of UNODC, Oliver Stolpe, said over 20 million Nigerians from age 15 and above admitted to having used drugs at least once between 2018 and 2019.

“Of this figure, three million required some form of medical attention as a result of substance abuse,” Stolpe said.

MTN Foundation has invested over #21 billion in various community-based and youth-focussed initiatives since its inception in 2004.

In 2018, the Foundation set up the Anti Substance Abuse Programme (ASAP) as a behavioural change intervention.

It was hinged on awareness, advocacy, information and resource dissemination, stakeholders engagement and empowerment, as tools to curb the prevalence of substance abuse and addiction in Nigeria.

So far, 13.5 million people have been impacted by this initiative and an estimated sum of N247 million has been invested.

Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

Okuanwan Offiong: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Economy

Stock market gains N15bn on MTNN price rally

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The key market indices of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday rebounded by 0.12 per cent following price appreciation achieved by MTN Nigeria Communications.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that MTN Nigeria Communication dominated the gainers’ table with N1.10 to close at N16.10 per share.

Vitafoam Nigeria followed with 26k to close at N3.85, while International Breweries added 25k to close at N3.85 per share.

GlaxosmithKline gained 20k to close at N4.80, while PZ Cussons appreciated by 15k to close at N4.50 per share.

Consequently, the All-Share Index which opened at 24,276.56 rose by 29.80 points or 0.12 per cent to close at 24,306.36.

Also, the market capitalisation of listed equities inched higher by N15 billion or 0.12 per cent to N12.679 trillion from N12.664 trillion achieved on Thursday.

On the other hand, Guaranty Trust Bank topped the laggards’ table, dropping 30k to close at N22.45 per share.

United Bank for Africa trailed with a loss of 15k to close at N6.25, while Zenith Bank lost 5k to close at N16.70, per share.

ABC Transport dipped 5k to 51k, while FBN Holdings also declined by 5k to close at N5.20 per share.

An analysis of the activity chart indicates that Sterling Bank was the most active, exchanging 17.66 million shares valued at N22.63 million.

Zenith Bank followed with an account of 7.47 million shares worth N47.06 million, while Transcorp sold 7.41 million shares valued at N4.69 million.

Fidelity Bank exchanged a total of 6.20 million shares worth N11.11 million.

In all, the volume of shares traded closed lower with an exchange of 131.63 million shares valued at N899.49 million in 3,044 deals.

This was in contrast with 192.08 million shares worth N2.47 billion exchanged hands in 3,833 deals on Thursday.

Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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General news

MTN’s ‘What Can We Do Together’ project: Foundation calls for nominations

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The MTN Foundation on Wednesday urged Nigerians to nominate areas that are in dire need of community projects for its ‘What Can We Do Together’ (WCWDT).

Its Acting Executive Secretary, Odunayo Sanya, said in a statement that the strength of the project was to suggest what could be done working together at the community level for the common good of the community.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that MTNF `What Can We Do Together’ project is a community based “give-back” initiative designed to get Nigerians to nominate selected projects for particular communities to be implemented by MTN foundation

“The strength of ‘What Can We Do Together’ comes from us working together toward the common good.

“The need to keep doing this has been heightened by the advent of COVID-19. We call on Nigerians to nominate communities that are in need of these projects.

“Previous editions of the WCWDT have enabled social interventions for 510 communities across 454 local government areas of the country,’’ Sanya said.

He, however, said that this year, nominations were sought for solar-powered boreholes and ICT laboratories as well as specific interventions against the unprecedented challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

He encouraged interested individuals to visit the website or send MTN to 321 before the closing date of 31 July, 2020.

He said that the foundation would  execute specific interventions for COVID-19 in partnership with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

 

 

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Science & Technology

MTN free sms hits 3.7 billion nationwide

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Ferdi Moolman, the MTN Nigeria Chief Executive Officer, on Tuesday said that the network provider had provided 3.7 billion free Short Message Service (SMS) for its subscribers nationwide.

 

Moolman said the initiative was implemented to ensure that while faced with unprecedented challenges and uncertainties during the initial phases of the COVID-19 outbreak, all MTN’s customers would be able to access loved ones, support systems and information.

 

He however, encourage subscribers to make use of the free services untill the end of June.

 

“As of June 19, 2020, the network has provided 3.71 billion free SMS to no fewer than 51 million subscribers across every state of the Nigerian Federation,  which means 75 per cent of all subscribers have now utilised the service during the pandemic.

 

“Having entered the third and final month of this service, I am hugely encouraged that so many people nation-wide have made use of the service.

 

“The three billion-plus text messages sent so far reflects the importance of communication during times like this, especially for the most vulnerable amongst us.

 

“I am grateful to our government and regulators, partners and employees for the roles they have played in making the delivery of this service possible, and encourage our subscribers to continue to make use of it until the end of June,” Moolman said.

Edited By: Benson Iziama/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Economy

MTN Nigeria announces completion of N100bn Commercial Paper

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MTN Nigeria Communications (MTNN) Plc on Tuesday announced the successful issuance of N100 billion Series I & II Commercial Paper (CP) notes.

MTNN stated this in a notice to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the investing public signed by Uto Ukpanah, its Company Secretary.

The company said that the Series I 180 day CP was priced at an effective yield of 4.90 per cent for a N20 billion size.

According to the statement, Series II 270 day CP sizes at N80 billion, clears at an effective yield of 5.95 per cent.

“We initially set out to issue up to N50 billion under the N100 billion programme but, at the conclusion of the bank book build, the CP issuance was 400 per cent subscribed.

“Given the significantly over-subscribed book, MTNN opted to issue up to the N100 billion limit of the registered CP programme,” it said.

It noted that the CP witnessed active participation from a diverse eligible individual and institutional investors such as pension fund administrators, asset managers and corporates, among others.

“The level of interest in MTNN’s debut in the Nigerian debt markets is a strong reflection of investor confidence in its ability to continue to deliver on its strategic objectives,” the statement added.

Mr Ferdinand Moolman, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, was quoted by the statement as saying that the N100 billion issued was the largest debut CP issuance by a Nigerian corporate entity.

Moolman said the CP would enable the company to broaden its sources of funding.

“It allows to broaden our sources of funding and combines established lines of credit with access to capital market funding, which will lower our overall cost of borrowing.

“The proceeds from the issuance will be applied towards MTNN’s working capital and general corporate purposes.

The Series I & II notes will be listed on the FMDQ Securities Exchange,” Moolman stated.


Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

 

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Judiciary

Police arraign 3 over alleged theft of MTN cable in Ekiti

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Three men on Friday appeared before an Ado-Ekiti Chief Magistrates’ Court over alleged theft of MTN cable.

The defendants-Junaid Olayinka, 39; Olatunde Ayeni, 38; and Alake Kunle, 40, are facing a one-count charge of stealing.

The prosecutor, Insp Oriyomi Akinwale, told the court that the defendants committed the offence on May 13 at about 2.p.m. at Atlas Area of Ado-Ekiti

He alleged that the defendants stole a cable valued at N500,000, property of MTN Telecommunications.

Akinwale said the offence contravened Section 390 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ekiti State, 2012.

The prosecutor asked the court for an adjournment to enable him study the case file and present his witnesses.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Counsel to the defendants, Mr Kayode Akinwumi, urged the court to grant the defendants bail, with a promise that they would not jump bail.

The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Olanike Adegoke, granted bail to the defendants in the sum of N200,000 with one surety each in like sum.

Adegoke adjourned the case till July 8 for hearing.

(
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

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General news

COVID-19: MTN provides customers free services to help communication- Official

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MTN Nigeria says it has provided its customers with a range of free services to help make communication easier during the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Its Company Secretary, Uto Ukpanah, also said the company has provided an update on the utilisation so far of its network initiatives to provide its customers and partners with connectivity.

Ukpanah said in a statement on Friday that these were in addition to the MTN’s direct contributions to support the fight against COVID-19.

He listed some of the supports to include: donations to CACOVID (N1 billion), Federal and State Governments (Communications support) and the NCDC (Devices, airtime, SMS channel and data) MTN.

According to him, as at May 15, 2020, our network has provided: more than 2 Billion free SMS sent by over 40 million subscribers.

“About 3,000 Terrabytes of free data utilised to access zero-rated health websites, and access to Ayoba, our partner messaging app;

“Over 1.7 million free money transfers by about 100,000 people using the MoMo Agent Network (offer ended May 1).

On the update, the company Chief Executive Officer, Ferdi Moolman said: “Since we began providing 300 free SMS’s per month to our subscribers more than two billion SMS have been sent by more than 44 million subscribers.

“It demonstrates the universal appeal and accessibility of SMS as a communications service.

“We are proud to have been able to reach so many people and are committed to continuing to provide this service.

“As we continue to navigate this pandemic, we are focusing our efforts on trying to ensure no one is left behind.”

Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Science & Technology

COVID-19: MTN waives charges on Cash2Cash Momo Agent money transfer services

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COVID-19: MTN waives charges on Cash2Cash Momo Agent money transfer services: The Digital Financial Services (YDFS), a subsidiary of MTN Nigeria, on Monday said it has waived user fees for Cash2Cash, a local money transfer service, offered by its MoMo Agent Network.

The Chief Executive Officer of YDFS, Usoro Usoro, said the package called,  Y’ello Hop Package,  was in  response to the escalating global Coronavirus pandemic.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that MoMo Agent is a mobile agent by Telco to provide safe and accessible money transfer services to under-banked and unbanked people across the country.

Usoro said the waiver, took effect immediately, to enable people without a bank account to send and receive money across the country at no extra cost for the next four weeks.

“During this time, all cash transfer fees will be absorbed by YDFS as one of the several new measures the company is introducing to support Nigerians as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise around the world.

“The events surrounding COVID-19 are unprecedented and will undoubtedly disrupt daily life and pose a myriad of challenges to people and businesses alike.

“With the Y’ello hope package, we are working to introduce measures that support our customers and communities, through this difficult time,” he said.

Usoro, however, said that the free Cash2Cash, allowed users to continue to make money transfers safely to help their loved ones meet financial obligations without fretting about the charges.

“To locate a MoMo Agent close to their location Customers can dial *223#,” he said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Olagoke Olatoye
(NAN)

 

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Science & Technology

COVID-19: MTN staff to start working from home Monday

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MTN Nigeria on Sunday said its team would start working from home as part of the precautionary measures to stop the spread of COVID-19

Mr Funso Aina, the telcos Senior Manager, External Relations, said in a statement that from March 23, workers are expected to perform their duties from home.

Aina said that the telcos operations would continue to run at full scale with essential staff working limited hours on-site.

“We also plan to announce the temporary closure of some of our stores.Those that remain open, will operate reduced hours and maintain strict and social distances measures.

“ The situation unfolding around the world is unlike anything we have seen in our lifetimes and is a reminder that we are all more connected than we ever know.

“To get through this, we need each other with patience, understanding, compassion, and to do the right thing for each other,” he said.

Aina noted that the company had  been closely monitoring the situation and “believe it is crucial that companies do two things, which was helping to  contain the escalating outbreak and safeguard operations  so that economies keep moving.

He said that for MTN in particular, they understood the vital role the  network   and services  play in supporting people, organisations and institutions nationwide.

“Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by COVID-19, especially those diagnosed with the virus, their family and friends, and all those whose jobs, education, and way of life have been affected.

“We have also complemented the government’s sensitisation drive, introduced rigorous cleaning measures and equipped team members with additional sanitation and safety products.

“As part of our response plan, in the coming days, we will introduce our Y’ello care package, several new measures as part of a concerted effort to support our customers.

“These include further amplifying governments sensitisation efforts, using more channels to deliver health and safety information, and suspending fees for all money transfers using our Momo Agent network,” he said.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi
(NAN)

 

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Science & Technology

COVID-19: MTN embarks on safety steps for employees, customers

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MTN Group says it has taken series of precautionary measures to ensure continuity of services and the safety of its stakeholders, including employees, customers, communities and suppliers against spread of coronavirus.

The mobile network provider said in a statement that the precautionary measures followed the official confirmation of COVID-19 cases in some of its markets.

”So a priority is ensuring network continuity, availability of spares and equipment and the upgrading of capacity.

”We wish to assure our stakeholders that the implementation of precautionary measures will have a negligible impact on our operations.

”We need to keep the connectivity lights on for our customers at all costs.

”In our own environments we have installed thermal scanners at MTN office facilities, as an early detection method for testing body temperature and enhanced hygiene measures including hand sanitizers in all our offices.

”The implementation of a work-from-home plan for employees has also been implemented,” the statement said.

In addition, the mobile network operator said it had placed restrictions on all international travel and also reduced, wherever possible, domestic travel, for continual  monitoring of the situation.

The group, however, encouraged  employees, stakeholders and customers to remain calm and take the necessary precautions as outlined by the medical fraternity to minimise the spread of the virus.

According to the statement, ‘COVID-19 is, unquestionably, testing our society.

”We will continue to monitor the global situation closely and strictly adhere to the recommendations of relevant international authorities such as the World Health Organisation and the local departments of health.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi
(NAN)

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