Telecom comapny, MTN has terminated its contract with some of Nigerian stars including Don Jazzy, Tiwa Savage, Davido, among others.
The management has also released the names of its 2016/2017 celebrity ambassadors to include Praiz, Chidinma, Iyanya, Tekno, Falz and more.
A statement issued by the company on Friday, said: “In line with its commitment to supporting Nigerian musicians by providing alternative platforms through which they can receive lucrative value for their intellectual property, MTN has announced brand ambassadors for 2016-2017.
“Music ambassadors for 2016-2017 are: Praiz (Praise Adejo); Iyanya (Iyanya Mbuk); Chidinma(Chidinma Ekile); Falz (Folarin Falana); Tekno Miles (Augustine Kelechi) and Skales (Raoul Njeng-Njeng).
“Four other ambassadors are – Saka, (Hafiz Oyetoro); Nedu (Steve Onu); Osuofia (Nkem Owoh) and Adamu Zango.
The statement did not explain why the “A-list acts” were dropped for “B-list acts”.
A report by TheNETng said the A-list acts have been grumbling in the background, regarding the quality of treatment they get from the telco, and the fact that their colleagues signed to rival brands get more money, more incentives and leverage.
The entertainment medium wrote further:
While most of the dropped acts refused to comment on the issue, a highly placed source tells us that ‘MTN is doing so much to cut costs and the fact that the A-list acts demanded for more money to renew their deals gave them a clean opportunity to dump them’.
According to Bloomberg, ‘minority shareholders of MTN’s stock may sell their holdings at a lower price or exit completely while MTN itself may also offer up a small portion of its stake’.
MTN is also dealing with part of the conditions set in its fine settlement deal with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), as the company hopes to raise as much as $1b from its upcoming Initial Public Offering (IPO).
The news of the fine and the subsequent negotiations ultimately led to a 38% decline in MTN’s share price.
MTN however says it’ll continue to maintain good relationships with its past ambassadors, ‘we specially thank all our former ambassadors for their immense contributions to building our brand and making us the network of choice in Nigeria. We will definitely continue to maintain the strong and mutually beneficial relationship with them through the monetisation of their content on all our digital platforms’.