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Telecommunication - June 7, 2022

How MTN Remains Nigeria’s Highest-Earning Company

Apart from being one of the subsidiaries of Africa’s largest mobile telecoms company, MTN Nigeria is currently the highest-earning telecom company in the country.

According to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the company hit over five trillion naira milestones in the second quarter of 2022.

This makes it more valuable than banks, insurance companies, and the whole financial services sector listed on the exchange.

In 2021, the company generated N1.20 trillion, with about 30% of its users accounting for 70% of its revenue. The company’s bottom line experienced a surge between late 2021 and 2022.

Here is how MTN remains the highest-earning company in Nigeria.

Voice (phone calls)

According to telecoms statistics from Q1 2021, there were 192,413,613 active voice subscribers. This was down from 204,601,313 in Q4 2020.

In the first quarter of 2022, MTN Nigeria added 1.7 million subscribers to its network.

In Q1 2021, Lagos State had the highest number of active voice customers per state, followed by Ogun and Kano States. On the other hand, Bayelsa and Ebonyi States had the lowest subscribers.


MTN active data subscribers in the first quarter of 2022 rose by 10.5% year-on-year to 35.9 million. It saw the addition of 1.6 million active data subscribers.

In 2021, data was also the fastest-growing category of the company. It generated N228.4 billion, which was 53.6% up from 2020.

In the same year, Lagos State had the highest number of active internet users per state, followed by Ogun and Kano States.


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In the first half of 2021, the MTN N finTech grew by 69.5% generating N31.6 billion. Some of the MTN N fintech include Xtratime (use-now-pay-later company) and MoMo (MTN’s agency business).

MTN Mobile Money (MoMo) 

MTN Mobile Money wallet is an electronic platform that allows users to store funds, transmit and receive money, make payments, and perform various other activities on mobile phones. 

It is offered in several African nations in collaboration with over ten partner banks.

Why telecommunication companies continue to make profits

Besides data, telcos have the potential and funds to branch into other industries. For instance, the banking industry. 

MTN’s mobile money (MOMO) license provided the company with a new revenue stream. With over 68.5 million active mobile subscribers and an ever-growing need for communication, the customer base and demand will continue to drive sales and profitability.

Also, telecom firms have a better handle on their margins and returns. Compared to the financial services industry, telcos generate a return on average of over 100% on average equity of roughly 20%.

In 2021, MTN recorded a 134% return on average equity.


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