By Emma Okonji
Following the recent appointment of Mr. Karl Toriola, a Nigerian from Osun State as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) designate, of MTN Nigeria with effect from March 1, 2021, MTN Nigeria subscribers have called on him, ahead of his assumption of duty date in March 2021, to consider more friendly consumer packages for voice and data services.
The subscribers however specified that Toriola must give priority to data services when developing welfare packages for MTN Nigeria subscribers.
Chairman, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOM), Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, who expressed happiness over the appointment, commended MTN Group for appointing Toriola as the second Nigerian to run the affairs of MTN Nigeria, since MTN established its presence in Nigeria in 2001.
Ogunbanjo however warned Toriola to ensure full compliance with the regulations of the Nigeria telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to avoid the pitfalls of his predecessor. “Government regulation is key in any business and all industry players must comply with all regulatory standards, including directives that may be issued by the regulator, and Toriola must ensure that MTN Nigeria obeys every directive issued by the regulator, as soon as he assumes duties next year,” Ogunbanjo said.
Considering the size of MTN Nigeria subscribers, which currently stands at 83.1 million with a market share of 40.90 per cent, making MTN the largest telecoms operator in Nigeria, Ogunbanjo said MTN Nigeria still
tops the other 15 MTN subsidiaries globally, contributing the highest revenue to the MTN Group. He therefore advised Toriola to ensure that he gets large chunk of the generated revenue from MTN Nigeria, and invest it in telecoms infrastructure rollout in Nigeria.
“MTN Nigeria has been listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange after NCC compelled it to do so as part of the conditions for the reduction of its N1.04 trillion SIM card registration fine in 2015. As a public quoted company, Toriola must ensure he maintains transparency on all MTN shares to continue to build the existing confidence that Nigerians have in MTN Nigeria,” Ogunbanjo said.
Chairman of MTN Nigeria, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, said the appointment of Toriola further reaffirmed the company’s commitment to succession planning as well as retaining and developing identified high performing executives. “With his rich credentials, I am personally pleased that Toriola is well-suited to lead MTN Nigeria’s Executive Management team through the next stages of growth in the years ahead,” Ndukwe said.
Toriola is currently the Vice President, West and Central Africa (WECA), excluding Nigeria and Ghana, a position he assumed in 2016. During that period, he has overseen the steady progress of the operating companies in the region, notably the turnaround of MTN Ivory Coast and MTN Cameroon. During his tenure, the WECA markets have made significant commercial and strategic strides. These include the improvement of market shares within the region and the development of mobile financial services.
Since joining the Group in 2006, Toriola has also held a number of senior operational roles including Chief Technical Officer of MTN Nigeria, CEO of MTN Cameroon and MTN Group Operations Executive.
Prior to joining MTN Nigeria, he was the Chief Operations/Regional Officer for Vmobile Nigeria, now Airtel Nigeria, where he was responsible for operations.
Toriola obtained a Bachelor of Science in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from the University of Ife, a Master of Science degree in Communication Systems from the University of Wales, and attended the General Management Program in Harvard Business School.