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It is a known fact that most of the so-called multinational companies in Nigeria use to their advantage the poverty level in the country; they normally push something small to the people to get more from them. Some companies at least redeem their pledge while some are known for not fulfilling their promises to the people; and leading the pack of those who take the consumer’s money without giving back is the giant telecommunications company, MTN.

The company is at the moment advertising a promo tagged “MTN Ultimate Wonder Promo,” and the promo is currently generating a lot of controversies owing to the fact that the company’s previous promo winners have never been known. A case in point is their N1billion Mega Reward which was used to celebrate the company’s 10 years of operations in the country where those they claimed to have won the N10 million star prizes and other prizes including the N100,000, were termed invisible by people on different social.

Though the company presented people at different events as the winners of the prizes, story is that the supposed 10 star prize winners were never known by anybody, and that going by the pedigree of the company, winners of such prizes would be given serious media mention to authenticate the claims. An example they cited is that of Chimuanya ‘Aroma’ Ufodike who won the maximum N10million at the MTN-sponsored “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” game show. Ufodike was given maximum media coverage whereas the 10 winners of the same amount this time around were rarely mentioned. And industry watchers believed this is far from the truth knowing fully well MTN would want to take the credit for such act.

According to Larry Annetta, chief marketing and strategy officer, MTN Nigeria, the Ultimate Wonder Promo is not only to enrich the subscribers but to also appreciate and reward its loyal customers. He stated further that the telecommunications company was keen in transforming the lives of many Nigerians. The grand prize this time around is an aeroplane or its cash equivalent aside other prizes like N2 million for 12 people every week; N150,000 for 100 people on weekly basis and 100 weekly consolation prizes of N50,000 for the 3 months duration of the promo.

The over 40 million subscribers of MTN are qualified for the aircraft prize by only loading N3,000 for the duration of the promo, while they just need to load a minimum of N200 every week to qualify for the weekly draws.

MTN it was that lead the revolt when they were asked to change from the initial per-minute billing to per-second, which means they make more money from the then very common drop calls to the detriment of the subscribers. It took Globacom’s decision of automatic per-second billing plan to force MTN, who had initially claimed it was not possible, to migrate to per-second to give per seconds options on their plan. It was also MTN that removed the act of billing subscribers for calling customer care lines.

Some people were of the opinion that the network provider is out to make money out of the subscribers through its promos. Sources revealed that if half of the subscribers recharges N200 every week they will be raking in an average of N40 billion every week and this will be running into trillions of naira by the end of the promo 12 weeks later.

Recently, the National Assembly also raised questions about how realistic the issues of giving out an aircraft is by MTN, echoing the scepticism of other Nigerians who were unable to identify those who they claimed won the N10 million star prize of the MTN Mega Reward promo. Though the National Assembly could not do anything about the hoax promo of the telecommunications company they also sounded their concern about the organsation that has been playing on the situation of things in the country.

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