How MTN is Fostering Innovation, Media Excellence through MIP at PAU 

To foster innovation and media excellence, MTN Nigeria launched the Media Innovation Programme (MIP), at the School of Media and Communication of the Pan-Atlantic University three years ago. This year, the 20 MIP fellows, including ThisDay Newspapers’ Chiemelie Ezeobi, have kickstarted the six-month journey to increase their knowledge and skill base that would help them understand the changing media landscape, and how to effectively use technology to create impactful media content

“What are We Doing Today?” That is the slogan of MTN Nigeria. In walking the talk, the brand is doing so many things at the same time with the overarching objective being to touch lives, give back and impact society. 

From healthcare to education, environment, energy, social welfare, culture and even entertainment, they took the axiom “a finger in every pie” quite literally. But beyond these largesse, the brand has actually exhibited such dexterity in managing its so many portfolios. 

Media Innovation Programme 

One of the ways MTN found its expression of “What are we doing today?” slogan was by sponsoring the Media Innovation Programme (MIP), a six-week long fellowship spread across six months for selected media practitioners in the Nigerian space “to increase their knowledge and skill base and help them understand the changing media landscape, and how to effectively use technology to create impactful media content”. Run by the School

 of Media and Communication (SMC) of the Pan-Atlantic University (PAU), the fully funded residential fellowship is open to media practitioners whether print, electronic, online platforms and social media content creators.

The certificate fellowship includes a study trip to the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, visits to the South African Broadcasting Station, innovation hubs in South Africa to incubate ideas and a tour of the MTN Group Head office in Sandton, as well as MTN Nigeria Headquarters. 

So for three years, the MTN has kept the faith in equipping media practitioners and innovators with the skills and knowledge they need to excel in a rapidly evolving media landscape and to tell the stories that need to be told, thus proving its commitment to improving the Nigerian media landscape and technology reporting.

MIP-3 Application and Selection 

The application process commenced on March 23, 2024 and ended on April 10. Out of over 2,000 entries, the PAU facility judiciously reviewed the applications and selected 20 top candidates who had the most outstanding essays.

Thus on May 20, 3024, the third cohort of the Media Innovation Programme converged on PAU for what portends to be a life changing experience. 

Meet the 2024 MIP-3 Fellows

In no particular order, the fellows chosen to grace the MIP-3 platform include Chioma Chukwuemeka, Lead News, Sapientia International Media Centre; 

Anthony Obakeye, Producer/Reporter, CNBC Africa; 

Pius Chidiebere, Anchor, Signature Television;

Oluwadunsin Sanya, Senior Content Associate, BellaNaija; Chiemelie Ezeobi, Group Features Editor, THISDAY Newspaper; Nkechi Ogbonna, Senior Journalist Reporter, West Africa, BBC, West Africa; Blessing Agbeetan, Assistant Prog Manager, Women Radio 91.7 FM; and 

Aigbe Augustus, OAP/Producer, Cool FM.

Others include Stephen Angbulu, State House Correspondent, Punch Newspapers; Raahman Toheeb, Editor-in-Chief, Legit NG; Juliet Tontoye Pere-ere, General Manager/Broadcaster, Royals Roots FM; 

Ebunoluwa Dosunmu, Content Creator; 

Ayodele Ayokunle, Managing Director, Rock FM Jalingo and Taraba Truth; Oluwatomisin Amokeoja, Staff Writer, Forbes Africa; Moninkanola Ogidan, News Anchor/Editor/Presenter, Adaba FM; Johnstone Kpilaakaa, Senior Tech Reporter, BCSL –; 

Nifemi Oguntoye, Deputy Head of Presentation, TVC Communications; Prince Osuagwu, ICT Editor, Vanguard Newspapers; Omonike Babatunde, Broadcaster, Bright Broadcasting Ltd; and Lucas Ajanaku, Assistant Business/Head, ICT Desk, The Nation Newspapers. 


The third edition of the Media Innovation Programme started in earnest with the opening remarks by the Dean SMC, Dr. Ikechukwu Obiaya before Tobe Okigbo, MTN Chief Corporate Services and Sustainability Officer,

took to the stage to regale the class of the decision that gave birth to the MIP. 

Introducing participants to the structure of SMC-PAU was Director Professional Education, Isaac-Ogugua Ezechukwu, after which Dr. Obiaya gave a run down of the programme overview as Course Director.

 Dr. Obiaya, while commending MTN Nigeria for the viable collaboration, said the programme will cultivate a new generation of media professionals who are equipped to drive innovation and excellence.

Regaling the class with the decision that gave birth to the MIP, Mr. Okigbo said it was a choice between spending to commemorate the anniversary of the brand or touching lives. Having chosen the latter, the three sets of cohorts are better off for it. 

On what he hopes the fellows get out of the programme, he said: “First, When somebody reads your story or listens to you, they don’t say ‘and this one calls himself a journalist’. Secondly, how do you monetize what you do? This is your opportunity to learn how to contribute to make this country greater than it is. We need to make this country great and nobody has the power to do more than the press.”

He added that “At MTN Nigeria, we recognise the critical role the media plays in shaping our society. MIP is a testament to our commitment to empowering media professionals and fostering innovation in the industry. We believe that a free and independent press is essential to a thriving society, and we are dedicated to supporting the development of a vibrant and responsible media ecosystem in Nigeria.

“Through this programme, we aim to equip media practitioners and innovators with the skills and knowledge they need to excel in a rapidly evolving media landscape and to tell the stories that need to be told.”

Week One In Focus 

Done with the introductory aspect, the lectures for week one began with “Culture, Society and the Media” by Dr. Richard Ikiebe, who also handled the thorny “Ethical Issues for Media Practitioners”.

The next day being Tuesday, May 21, “The Concept of Innovation and its Imperatives for Media Practitioners” was taken by Mr. Frank Aigbogun. This was followed by a Workshop/Discussion on Innovation, which he also handled.

Taking over to discuss the Project Topic was Prof. Ezechukwu before the participants were taken on a tour of the campus by Olalekan Aro-Oyedele.

Day three, which was on Wednesday, May 22 was heralded by “Introduction to Entrepreneurship: Principles and Practices 1-3” by Dr. Peter Bamkole, who also held a Workshop/Case Discussion on Entrepreneurship. 

On Thursday, May 23, which was day 4, Dr. Nkem Iheanachor held sway in “Management Principles and Practices – 1-2” which led to a Workshop/Case Discussion. Afterwards, the first female  lecturer the MIP-3 cohort had, Dr. Ruth Oji took the class on “Branding and Etiquette for Media Practitioners”.

The last day of the first week, which was on Friday, May 24, started off with “Media Laws: Principles and Practices

Presentation/Interactive Session” by Barr. Tomi Vincent followed by “Taxation, Business Policies and Regulations 1-2” by Dr. Olusegun Vincent.

Although the classwork ended, the cohort did not depart until an address by the Alumni Team led by Mr. Mike Okwoche, a media veteran and two others.

 Afterwards, the cohort ran an intensive election that saw Nifemi Oguntoye emerge as President; Juliet Tontoye as Vice President; Blessing Agbeetan as Secretary; and Augustus Aigbe as Social Secretary. 

About MTN Nigeria

At MTN Nigeria, the brand is keen on the belief everyone deserves the benefits of a modern, connected life, thus their  “dedication to enabling connections that matter – among families, friends, and communities – is fuelled by this conviction, and has not faltered since the very first call was made on the MTN network – at Maritime House, Apapa, on May 16, 2001”.

Twenty-three years later, MTN Nigeria is one of Africa’s largest providers of communications services, connecting approximately 77 million people in communities across the country with each other and the world with their leadership position in coverage, capacity and innovation remaining constant since its launch in 2001.

MTN Nigeria is part of the MTN Group – a multinational telecommunications group, which operates in 19 countries in Africa and the Middle East.

With Ambition 2025 to be “Leading digital solutions for Africa’s progress’, the brand has built strong core operations, which are underpinned by the largest fixed and mobile network in Africa; a large, connected registered customer base; an unparalleled registration and distribution network, as well as one of the strongest brands in our markets.

They are committed to bridging the digital and financial divide, furthering inclusion and advancing the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through their core business activities and their support to governments, communities and customers.

Guided by the principle of shared value, which enables shared prosperity, the proudly Nigerian company with a rich African heritage is committed to using their technology and assets to help build a better tomorrow, where businesses expand, the economy grows, and people make progress because with real access and support, there is nothing Nigerians cannot achieve.

School of Media and Communication (SMC)

According to information found on its website, “the School of Media and Communication was instituted by Pan-Atlantic University in recognition of the critical role of the media and entertainment industries in shaping societal values and cultural life.

“No less important is the growing contribution of the creative industries to the Nigerian economy. The establishment of SMC is informed by the aspiration to train professionals who will uphold the highest intellectual, ethical and professional values that promote creativity, critical knowledge, technical perfection, social responsibility, and the spirit of the enterprise.”

The school offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication, Information Science and Media Studies, Film and Multimedia Studies, as well as a full-time and part-time M.Sc. programmes in Data Science and Media & Communication; a PhD in Media and Communication as well as non-degree programmes for professionals as well as other courses like Executive MBA and EDC Programmes. 

While the cohort looks forward to the bearings of the school this new week that started on Monday, it would be pertinent to commend the organisational skills of those who would bend and mould our lives these six weeks in six months. For the Dean to Ezechukwu to Samsideen Akano and Grace Kenneth, the goal is for the cohort to learn in character and in deed. 

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