Afenifere Kicks against MTN’s ‘Non-inclusive’ Appointments

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• Telecoms giant completes registration of shares with SEC

Emma Okonji

The Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, has faulted the two recent major appointments made by the telecommunications giant, MTN, describing them as non-inclusive.

This development is coming as the company yesterday announced the successful completion of the registration of its ordinary shares with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The completion of the registration process of 20,354,513,050 ordinary shares of N0.02 each with SEC, sets in motion the next steps in MTN’s intended listing by introduction on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

In a statement issued yesterday by Afenifere’s General Secretary, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, the socio-cultural organisation said the appointments of the Emir of Kano, His Royal Highness Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, as a member of MTN’s Board of Directors, and Dr. Aisha Abdullahi, a former commissioner in Bauchi State, into the International Advisory Board, would not have not raised an eyebrow if these periods were normal seasons in Nigeria.

“Our first major concern is that though MTN is a private company, these choices tend to mirror the skewedness that has characterised public sector appointments in Nigeria in the last four years and have drawn serious flaks.

“Our secondary worry is that the MTN Group seeming pandering to the non-inclusivity that has pervaded national affairs in Nigeria may not be unconnected with the infractions the Nigerian government has alleged against the telecommunications company which have yet to be resolved.

“The MTN should have been more sensitive to its market base in Nigeria before taking decisions along the parochial trend in public service in Nigeria at the moment.

“The NBS quarterly communications report titled ‘Telecoms Data: Active Voice and Internet per State, Porting and Tariff Information (Q2 2018)’, showed that Lagos State has the highest number of subscribers in terms of active voice per state and closely followed by Ogun State,”Afenifere explained.

“In terms of active internet per state for the period, Lagos also has the top spot followed by Ogun and the FCT.

“How come MTN cannot find suitable Nigerians to be on its board from the area of the country where its highest subscriptions come from?” Afenifere queried.

Meanwhile, the company has announced the successful completion of the registration of its ordinary shares with the SEC.

Speaking on the announcement, MTN Nigeria’s CEO, Ferdi Moolman, said: “I am excited we have achieved another milestone in our listing process and want to thank the SEC and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) for supporting us through the process. We have now begun to engage with the Nigerian Stock Exchange to complete the listing process.”

The company had changed its status from a private company to a public liability company (PLC) ahead of its listing on the NSE.

This conversion is one of the requirements for listing on the exchange.