Ukraine Crisis: MTN Offers Free Int’l Calls, Messages To Nigerian Customers
MTN has said it will offer free international calls and short message service (SMS) to prepaid and postpaid customers affected by the Ukraine crisis.
Its CEO, Karl Toriola, in a statement, said the offer is aimed at supporting customers to stay in touch with their loved ones while eliminating associated International Direct Dialing (IDD) costs due to high International Telecommunication Regulations (ITR) to Ukraine.
“We understand that some of our customers in Ukraine have experienced challenges to contact their loved ones. As a result, we have stepped in with support to ensure that our customers, both at home and in Ukraine, are still able to connect with family and friends, all of our customers will benefit from the waived SMS and voice call fees to and from Ukraine. This blanket waiver has been put in place as an immediate response to the need,” Toriola said.
Under the new initiative, each existing active subscriber on the network will receive 30 minutes of free voice calls and 50 free SMS. The offer will be valid all through the month of March and customers will be able to check minutes/SMS allocated, volume used, balance and expiry date.
Unused complimentary minutes will expire on March 31 or on any earlier date as advised across all phone numbers and will not roll over.
Additionally, the company has also anticipated concerns with regard to connection issues and has implemented surefire measures to ensure uninterrupted connectivity.
“We’ve worked closely with our industry body GSMA to make the connection easier. While MTN does not have operations in Ukraine, we have heeded the call to remain responsive to our customers in their time of need,” Toriola said.
MTN’s intervention comes as Russian troops push further into Ukraine, with hundreds of thousands, including Nigerians, stranded and fleeing the country for safety. Citing data from the government, an estimated 4,000 Nigerians were studying in tertiary institutions across Ukraine in 2020 – the highest number of African indigenes in the country, alongside Morocco.