MTN To Invest GH¢460m -Despite Challenges

Serame Taukobong, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MTN Ghana, says despite the challenges confronting his outfit, it is ready to invest GH¢460 million this year.

According to him, though MTN Ghana has been dealing with challenges relating to increased costs, theft of battery from its cell sites, fiber cuts, SIMbox fraud and power disruptions among others, it has recorded significant progress in data and Mobile Money services.

The company also recorded 3.4 million registered subscribers on its Mobile Money service.

MTN has already invested GH¢2 billion in network expansion that translated into a 7.1 percent subscriber growth and 123 percent growth in data revenues for 2014.

High fuel costs
He explained that due to increased electricity tariffs and high demand for fuel to power generators, the company exceeded its electricity and fuel budget by about 30 percent in 2014, spending approximately GH¢86 million on fuel and electricity instead of the budgeted GH¢61 million.

MTN’s fuel load doubled to more than 2 million liters per month in 2014 owing to the ongoing power outages.

The company said the high power outage from August 2014 to December 2014 increased its generator runtime and also generator replacements with more than 350 in 2014.

SIMbox fraud
On the issue of SIMbox, Taukobong reiterated the need to eliminate the 19 cent-per-minute surcharge in order to bring an end to the SIMbox fraud.

MTN continues to invest in communities with impactful projects through the MTN Ghana Foundation.

The Foundation has earmarked an estimated amount of GH¢3.3 million to invest in education, health and economic empowerment and other community enriching projects in Ghana in 2015.

Kwaku Sakyi Addo, CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, in an address, urged Ghanaians to focus on the significant contributions that the telecoms industry is making to the growth of Ghana’s economy.

He praised MTN for its achievements.
By Cephas Larbi
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