By: Our Reporter
Struggling telecommunications giant, MTN Nigeria has stopped the popular TV programme, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. The Nigeria’s leading GSM service provider a while ago beamed its last episode to the teeming Nigerian viewers. The show has run on the nation’s television for 13 years.
Announcing the decision of the South African company to discontinue with the programme, its anchor, Frank Idoho did not proffer any reason for the firm’s suddenly stoppage of the quiz show. He however, said the show might not return so soon.
The Street Journal reports that the show that commenced in October 2004 has broadcast about 820 episodes giving out over N1 billion away in cash money to winners. About 160 people had been made millionaires and multimillionaires through the TV show in the last 13 years.
An impeccable source at the company’s headoffice in Lagos confided in our reporters that the excruciating economic situation in the country had compelled it to review its expenditure in line with the economic reality of its operating environment. She further said that the altercations that ensued between the company and the Nigerian government culminating in the N350 billion fines had unprecedented adverse effects on the business of the telecoms giant.
It would be recalled that Telecoms giant, MTN made a $200 million loss in 2016, the company’s first after suffering a huge fine in Nigeria and currency challenges in key markets. Its financial results for 2016 reflect the most challenging year in the company’s 22-year history. According to the MTN Group, the company reported profits of 20.2 billion rand ($1.6 billion) before tax for 2015. It further explained that overall performance of the company was hindered by lower than expected growth in South Africa and Nigeria as well as the depreciation of the rand against the dollar and the continued impact of a $1 billion (950 million euros) fine by Nigerian authorities. Nigerian authorities had in October 2015 fined MTN for failing to disconnect unregistered mobile accounts in the country originally ordering it to pay $1,000 for each improperly registered SIM card. The Nigerian authorities had ordered the purge for security reasons, as the country battles Boko Haram Islamists as well as criminality especially kidnapping for ransom. The original Nigerian Communications Commission penalty was equal to roughly a quarter of the country’s annual federal budget. Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, is MTN’s largest market, where it now has 62 million subscribers out of a total of 233 million, a 1.2 percent increase on 2015. The Group said its operations in South Africa were hit by technical issues and customer service problems during the year, which also hurt the bottom line, the company said. “Towards the end of 2016 our two largest operations (South Africa and Nigeria)… began to show signs of a turnaround following an extended period of underperformance.” Revenue was fractionally up for the year at 146.9 billion rand ($11.3 billion, 10.7 billion euros), the company said. It was also revealed that the MTN share price on the Johannesburg stock exchange rose five percent after the announcement of the company results .
Recession: MTN Halts Who Wants To Be A Millionaire On Nigerian TV
By: Our Reporter