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Is MTN Ghana Giving Free Data to Subscribers in Lockdown Areas?

2 mins read A news portal says MTN Ghana is gifting data to Ghanaians in locked-down areas…

2 mins read

MTN to give free internet data to people living in lockdown areas – thebbcghana.com

MTN Ghana is not giving free internet data to its subscribers in the locked-down communities. The message based on which the story was written is from MTN Nigeria and meant for subscribers in that country.

Full Text:

An article by thebbcghana.com says that one of Ghana’s leading telecommunication companies, MTN, is giving out free internet data to its subscribers living in areas affected by the lockdown. The areas are Accra, Tema and Kumasi.

This move, according to the story, is to keep MTN subscribers in the areas updated on the latest happenings concerning the coronavirus pandemic.

“In the same bid to keep its subscribers abreast of the latest update on the spread of the virus with in the country, MTN Ghana is offering its customers free internet data to help them get daily information about the global pandemic,” it said.

“….this MTN free internet data is a welcome development as this will allow especially people living in the lockdown areas ( Accra, Kumasi, and Tema.) to know more about the prevention of the virus,” it continues.

Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo last week announced a two-week restriction on movement in some parts of the country. It took effect 1 a.m. yesterday March 30th. He said a lockdown has become necessary to help curb the spread of coronavirus and also to fast-track contact tracing.

Verification:

Dubawa spoke to Efua Falconer, Corporate Communications Manager at MTN Ghana. She told Dubawa that the information is untrue.

“It’s fake news”, Efua Falconer said. 

Additional checks were conducted on MTN Ghana’s website and verified twitter page. Unsurprisingly, we found no mention of free internet data to subscribers in the said communities or any part of the country on either platform.

Message from MTN Nigeria to Nigeria Customers

Further research conducted by Dubawa found that the news portal misrepresented information from MTN Nigeria.

On March 26, 2020, MTN Nigeria through their Twitter page announced that its subscribers can access information about the coronavirus pandemic on the network without data.

Source: Twitter (MTN Nigeria)

As seen in the image above, the post is specific to MTN Nigeria to its subscribers in Nigeria. The tweet contains a link that leads to a page on the MTN Nigeria website. On the website, three hyperlinks are shared: the World Health Organisation, the Nigerian NCDC and the Federal Ministry of Health websites. These websites are the information portals that MTN Nigeria has allowed data-free access to. Also on the page are five (5) tips for coronavirus prevention.

Conclusion:

MTN Ghana is not giving free internet data to subscribers in the locked-down communities in Ghana. It is rather MTN-Nigeria that is allowing free access to information on specific websites for its subscribers in Nigeria.

Roselena Ahiable is a Senior Researcher with Dubawa Ghana. Roselena has years of demonstrated work experience in advertising, sales and marketing, having worked with some of the leading brands in Ghana. She has completed a Master of Philosophy programme in Communication Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon, with specialisation in Public Relations and Advertising. She has also received advanced training in print and broadcast journalism. Roselena also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Theatre Arts from the University of Ghana. As a trained journalist with interest in research, Roselena provides the team insight in news and media trend analysis.

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