MTN boss Ralph Mupita is traveling to Nigeria for the first time since becoming CEO

MTN boss Ralph Mupita. (included)

Ralph Mupita, CEO of the MTN Group, is on his first working visit to Nigeria since taking office in September 2020, the company announced on Thursday.

Nigeria is the company’s largest market, where the pan-African telecommunications company has faced multiple challenges, including difficulties with returning cash. The company said in May it had struggled to withdraw R4.3 billion in dividends from Nigeria due to difficulties securing foreign currency in that country.

The operator was also affected by the Nigerian government’s instruction to telecom operators to register cell phone users, amid concerns that unregistered SIM cards are being used by criminals and insurgents. The process has cut MTN’s subscriber numbers, but the company said they made good progress with verifying users.

Mupita will be accompanied by Group Chief Financial Officer Tsholo Molefe on this three-day visit. The company said in a statement that the heads of state and government, along with their Nigerian counterparts, would meet with “selected partners and key stakeholders in the country”.

“This visit shows MTN’s continued commitment to support the socio-economic development of Africa’s largest economy,” said MTN Nigeria Chairman Ernest Ndukwe.

Mupita, who was the company’s CFO before replacing his predecessor Rob Shuter, described Nigeria as one of the company’s “most important markets”.

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