L-R: Dr Omoniyi Ibietan, Head of Media, Nigerian Communications Commission; Lakinbofa Goodluck, PR Manager, MTN Nigeria; Njideka Akabogu, Regional Manager East Africa, ID Africa (BHM Holdings); Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, President, African Public Relations Association at the SABRE Africa Awards in Lusaka, Zambia on May 19, 2023.
In acknowledgment of its accomplishments in harnessing public relations and communication to foster public-private partnerships and shared value in Nigeria, MTN Nigeria has received five Certificates of Excellence at the 2023 SABRE Africa awards.
The ICT company received nominations at the awards for its services and innovations over the past year in categories including Company of the Year; Corporate Image; Corporate Social Responsibility and; Special Event/Sponsorship and CEO of the Year.
MTN’s growth is evident in its revenue which has doubled from N1 trillion in 2018 to N2 trillion at the end of the financial year in 2022 with its strongest growth achieved in 2021 and 2022 at 22.9 percent and 21.6 percent respectively.
In December 2021, MTN Nigeria became the first Nigerian company to make its public offer of 575 million sales in shares accessible to retail investors through a unique digital platform, Primary Offer. Similarly, the company partnered with the Nigerian government to rehabilitate the Enugu-Onitsha 110-kilometre expressway under the 10-year Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme (RITC). In 2022, the company also launched the Media Innovation Programme in partnership with Pan-Atlantic University to upskill media practitioners in Nigeria.
These initiatives, with efficient public and private stakeholder engagement and communication support by Public Relations and Communications company BHM, culminated in MTN Nigeria and its leadership becoming recipients of the 2023 SABRE Africa Company of the Year and CEO of the Year certificates.
MTN Nigeria’s recent rebranding to a technological company offering a bouquet of digital services has attracted widespread commendation in recent times, and its excellent achievements in the technology space were also rewarded with its recognition as having a great Corporate Image.
The recognition was bolstered by the technology company’s successful acquisition of the 5G spectrum and the launch of the advanced 5G network in different parts of Nigeria in 2022. If properly harnessed, the 5G network is predicted to deliver $13.2 trillion in global economic value by 2035 and can generate 22.3 million jobs in the 5G global value chain alone within the same period. The advanced network has the potential to boost Nigeria’s socio-economic ecosystem, particularly by improving access to essential services such as finance, health, and education.
MTN was also recognised as an organisation with an impactful Corporate Social Responsibility for its innovative Y’ellopreneur, which is distinctive for its ambition to bridge the gender gap in Nigeria’s employment and entrepreneurship landscape. In its debut phase, at least 500 women entrepreneurs were able to build capacity, with 101 receiving funding worth N2 million for their respective businesses under the empowerment programme.
MTN’s contribution to the development of grassroots football in Nigeria and its partnership with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) as the Official Communications Partner earned it a Certificate of Excellence in the Special Event/Sponsorship category.
Over the past two decades, MTN has demonstrated its commitment to elevating Nigeria’s standing in world football by collaborating with the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and investing in various football camps and scholarship programs to develop young footballing talents in the country. The most recent of such transformative programmes by the ICT company was the establishment of the NPFL/La Liga U-15 tournament in 2022 to identify and train the best young football talents in Nigeria.
In a related event, Funso Aina, MTN Nigeria’s senior manager, external relations, became the first African to win the “Innovator of the Year” award in the brands’ category at the 2023 SABRE IN2 Awards.
Speaking on the SABRE recognition, Tobechukwu Okigbo, Chief Corporate Services Officer, MTN Nigeria, said, “We are deeply honoured to have been recognised across multiple categories at the SABRE Africa awards. These accolades are a testament to the hard work and dedication of the team and the contributions of all our partners towards our success. At MTN, we remain committed to delivering innovative and impactful solutions that enhance the lives of communities where we operate. These certificates are a clear validation of our efforts and we will continue to strive towards excellence in all that we do.”
Effective PR and communication strategies are critical in driving brand awareness, facilitating partnerships, and expanding market share. Due to its increased adoption and its potential to impact brand growth, the global public relations market size is expected to grow to $133 billion in 2027 at a CAGR of 5.7%.
The 2023 SABRE Africa awards ceremony was held in Lusaka, Zambia, as part of the 2023 African Public Relations Association (APRA) Conference. The annual event, organised by PRovoke Media, celebrates public relations and communication excellence in Africa, particularly in the areas of branding, reputation, and engagement.