Beginning this October 2016, Felleng Sekha, who left the MTN Group in 2007 having worked there from 1999 as Executive Director, returns to the Group in the capacity of Executive, Regulatory Affairs and Public Policy.
Felleng was at the forefront of MTN’s expansion strategy throughout those years, and led the acquisition of the GSM licence in Nigeria at the time when Nigeria was considered a difficult market where mobile services would not thrive. MTN Nigeria almost instantly became the Group’s largest and most profitable operation.
She did not stop there; Felleng Sekha also drove acquisitions of GSM operations in Cameroon and Zambia. She spent five years in Nigeria as Executive Director, Corporate Services.
With a wealth of experience and a very approachable personality, Felleng is recognised for her enormous contributions to the ICT sector and has received numerous industry accolades and has consistently been recognised in Africa’s top ICT leaders.
In the recent past, MTN has run into a number of regulatory challenges especially in its largest operations, Nigeria, with the regulator slamming the biggest fine in telecom annals of $5.2 billion on the operator.
Although negotiations have led to this being drastically reduced to N330 billion (the equivalent of US$ 1.671 billion at the official exchange rate and US$902 million at the Lagos Parallel Market Rate at the time) to be paid over a period of three years, the fact that MTN Nigeria is having issues in the country again must have informed the management that the company does indeed, need extra help, hence Felleng Sekha’s appointment and the creation of the unique new unit.
A lawmaker in Nigeria’s upper chamber of the National Assembly, Senator Dino Melaye has accused MTN of illegally moving over $13 billion out of Nigeria over a period of 10 years. Although the company has put up a spirited denial of any wrongdoing, the matter still lingers and is yet to be fully settled.
That may be one of Felleng’s first areas of attention as she steps into her new role at MTN. Fortunately for her, she enjoys the confidence of the industry including many in Nigeria who recall her positive and conciliatory roles while working for MTN and operating in Nigeria as her location.