MTN Nigeria to give aeroplane to subscribers in promotion

As the competition in the mobile telecoms sector in Nigeria heats up, MTN Nigeria has launched a promotion it is calling the “MTN Ultimate Wonder” and it is offering a reward of a brand new aeroplane to its subscribers in Africa’s most populous country.

Nigeria has an estimated population of over 170 million as at July 2012.

The promotion started running in the Nigerian media Friday August 10, 2012, and the TV commercial has also been uploaded on MTN Nigeria’s Youtube page on the same day.

“To participate in the MTN Ultimate Wonder promo, new and existing customers are to recharge with a minimum of N200 to qualify for weekly draws. Multiple entries are allowed for increased chances of winning. Recharges of minimum N3,000 over the duration of the promo will qualify for the grand prize of an Aeroplane,” the telecoms provider states on its website. N3,000 is equivalent to about $19. (The Nigerian currency is the naira).

The company also says it will reward one weekly star prize winner with N2,000,000 plus 100 weekly consolation prizes of N50,000. N2 million is the equivalent of a little over $12,000.

The company has listed additional prizes, adding that “the Grand prize winner also has an option of getting the cash equivalent or the Airplane,” it says, without stating the value of the airplane or how much cash equivalent the grand prize winner will receive.

But most Nigerians on social networks Facebook and Twitter are skeptical, describing the promotion as laughable.

A Nigerian journalist, Ekene Okoro who spoke to on the phone said he doesn’t think Nigeria is ripe for this kind of promotion. “The average Nigerian is struggling to have a three-square meal a day and how could he or she manage an aeroplane?,” he asks. Adding “MTN should think of giving out houses and make landlords of Nigerians because many Nigerians can’t even afford to pay their rents,” he said.

According to data from the country’s telecoms sector regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission as at June 2012, there are a total of 133,715,146 connected mobile lines – both GSM and CDMA. However, active lines total 101,855,094. About three million active lines are CDMA.

There are five GSM mobile operators in Nigeria; MTN, Glo, Airtel, Etisalat and Mtel. MTN, however, has the largest market share of 46 percent as at December 2011. The country has additional four CDMA operators.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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