How MTN Nigeria Scammed N-Power Volunteers and FG

Major N-power partner MTN Nigeria is making at least N24,000,000 monthly illegally from N250 monthly airtime meant for the first batch of N-power beneficiaries, according to the latest survey by Infobase Nigeria.

Federal Government’s N-power, which is under Social Investment Programme (SIP) gave tablet devices to its 200,000 volunteers in 2017.

The tablet devices include: Samsung Tab, AfriOne 2-in-1, Techno Pad, N-power Brian Tablet, Zinox Zpad Tablet, Speed star Window Tablet, RLG tablet, and Floss Signature.

FG allotted millions of Naira monthly in data and airtime for volunteers’ use.

The tablet devices came with data of 750MB monthly, and N250 free airtime.

However, our survey shows that large number of the volunteers were unable to make call with the free airtime.

Check our data collation and analysis below.

Data collation:

  • Number of respondents= 120, 000, representing 60% of the total number of volunteers (200,000)
  • Number of volunteers who received and able to make call with the free airtime=20%, representing 24,000 of volunteers.
  • Number of volunteers who received the free airtime but couldn’t make call with it=80%, representing 96,000 of volunteers.


Going by this data, if volunteers were able to see airtime on their account balance but unable to use it, it simply means it’s as usefulness as not receiving it at all.

Where does the airtime go to when they couldn’t use it, which has already been paid for by the Federal Government?

Take a look:

96,000× N250= N24,000,000 monthly.

It means 24million Nigerian Naira budgeted for those under the purview of our survey go back to MTN Nigeria’s purse.

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A volunteer shared a screenshot of the free airtime with us.

This further means that in a year, MTN would have made N288,000,000 from the free airtime it ought to credit lines of beneficiaries with.

Meanwhile volunteers said complaints sent to MTN customer support were not attended to. They had to settle for only free 750MB and purchase airtime from their purse, if they had to make call with the N-power dedicated MTN line.

MTN Nigeria and Fight against Fraud

The South African telecommunication giant claimed to have zero tolerance for fraud, “To this end, we consider it particularly important for you join us in the fight to eliminate fraud. Carrying out awareness and anti-fraud programs focused on fraud and its consequences.”

The telecom company has fraud unit to fight corruption, “The Subscriber fraud unit is responsible for preventing, detecting and managing incidents of fraud by MTN Nigeria subscribers. The unit undertakes public enlightenment and fraud awareness for staff that interfaces with subscribers.”

But it’s officials at state offices were accused of fraudulent activities during the device distribution across the country.

At a time in Osun, Delta, Oyo, Akwa Ibom State, Rivers and other states Mtn officials demanded money from N-power beneficiaries before they could collect their device, which they were to collect absolutely free.

The menace stopped when it was reported to N-power headquarters in Abuja.

Who should be held responsible for this scam?

Definitely MTN Nigeria should be held responsible. However, FG ,the client of MTN Nigeria needs to follow up whether the money paid for the purpose are used for what it is meant.

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The current MTN (Nigeriaa) scam of N-power volunteers and FG allude to the position of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Jibrin Okutepa, that “Nigeria’s DNA is deepely rooted in corruption.”

“The rate at which government works at millipede pace is not good for fighting corruption. A task of fighting corruption is huge,” the respected lawyer said early this week on Sunrise Daily on Channels Television.

The current fraud , in our research, has been perfected in such a way that it will be difficult to investigate.

The tenure of the first batch of the programme is expected to come to a close by December, 2018.

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