3 Ways MTN’s Budget Cut Is Affecting Entertainment In Nigeria
Times are tough and reality is staring us in the face.
MTN Nigeria is cutting cost and several homes will bear the brunt. Does the government care to help ease the hardship?
The telecoms company has been a mainstay in Nigeria's showbiz. It has signed on celebrities as ambassadors, while organizing game and music talent shows.
The Nigerian Communications Commission fined MTN in October 2015 for failing to disconnect 5.2 million unregistered lines on their network.
The NCC ordered the company to pay a fine of $1,000 per sim card, totally $5.2 billion but lowered it to $3.2 billion.
The first installment of the fine ($254 million) was paid in December 2016 and the company has two more to go.
The fine has forced MTN to abandon some sponsored initiatives while others may be pulled off the shelf.
Here are 3 ways MTN’s budget cut is doing Nigeria’s entertainment industry ‘strong thing’.
1. Bye-bye 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire'?
Last week, the game show, 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire', announced that it was going for an indefinite break.
It’s long-term host, Frank Edoho went on twitter to give fans of the show, a hint of what really happened and in lay man’s terms he said ‘Sponsor say dem no do again’.
This comes after a 13-year stint on television that has drawn families closer and practically saved young people's futures and paid outrageous medical bills.
2. MTN Ambassadors
To take care of its ambassador’s MTN spends about 1 billion Naira each year. But after declaring a $200 million loss in 2016, it had to let 11 of its celebrity ambassadors go.
The list includes; Davido, Don Jazzy, Tiwa Savage, Dr. Sid, Sound Sultan, Banky W, KCee, Harrysong, Patience Ozokwor, Timaya and Sean Tizzle.
3. Project Fame West Africa
There are rumours that the next to go out the window will be Project Fame West Africa.
The cutting axe is now hovering over the talent show that has discovered quite a number of outstanding entertainers.
Iyanya won the maiden edition in 2008 and has remained a shinning star in the industry.
However, a source says Project Fame West Africa would run for one more season before it takes a bow.
‘You know it is the tenth season so the company will do whatever it can to make sure it runs this year, although I’m not sure that it will return next year.
‘But MTN has really tried by supporting these initiatives. Even other companies who are not paying fines are finding it hard in this economy to sustain some engagements,' said the source.