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MTN appoints Shoyinka Shodunke, Adia Sowho; first Nigerian CIO, female CMO



Shoyinka Shodunke and Adia Sowho
L-r: Shoyinka Shodunke and Adia Sowho

MTN Nigeria Communications Plc “MTN Nigeria” has appointed two new Nigerian executives.

They are Shoyinka Shodunke, who will be the first Nigerian to be appointed the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of MTN Nigeria; and Adia Sowho, the first female Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), of the telecommunications giant’s 20 years of operations in the Africa’s most populous nation, can report.

Karl Toriola MTN Nigeria CEO, commenting in the company’s unaudited results for the half-year ended 30 June 2021, said “…we further localised our predominantly Nigerian management team with the appointment of Nigerians to two key senior positions (Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Information Officer) previously held by expatriates”.

Meet Shoyinka Shodunke, new CIO of MTN Nigeria:’s investigations revealed that the Shoyinka Shodunke (LinkedIn), a holder of Bachelor of Technology in Mathematics Statistic/Operations Research from the Federal University of Technology Yola, Nigeria, Masters in Business Administration from the University of Northampton, United Kingdom and a Post Graduate Diploma with a major in Global Management from the University of Salford Manchester, United Kingdom, is the new CIO for MTN Nigeria.

Shoyinka brings over 20 years of demonstrating business values, implementing critical and pivotal technology initiatives, managing multiple mission-critical projects, vital systems, and key stakeholder relationships.

He began his career in 1995 with Texaco Overseas Petroleum Company (now Chevron Nigeria) as a Systems Analyst. Shoyinka joined the MTN Nigeria family in 2001 putting in 7 years across various positions in our IT space including Senior Applications Manager where he was recognised for his role in transforming Credit management and Postpaid payments using prepaid recharges – Recharge a Contract (R-a-C).

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He was the recipient of the CIO’s award for excellence for the design and implementation of the postpaid credit and payment management process that was adjudged best in-class in Nigeria.

In 2008, he moved to MTN Zambia as CIO and he then went on to Uganda in 2011 where he served as General Manager.

There he managed the Architecture and Planning Function in MTN South-East Africa IT Shared Services Hub where he secured application standardisation, designed and deployed shared services business processes and applications across SEA operations and multiple countries including the first Pre/Post-paid system convergence.

He returned to MTN Nigeria in 2012 as the General Manager IT Service Delivery and went on to become our Acting CIO at a most critical time, during which he successfully managed and stabilised the newly required Sim Registration process as well as being instrumental to the convergence implementation.

In search of a new challenge, Shoyinka Shodunke moved to MTN Cameroun in 2016 where he was first Chief Information Officer and then Chief Information Technology Officer.


He left MTN in 2020 and rejoins us from Vodafone Ghana where he was Director of Technology.

He returns with extensive leadership experience coupled with knowledge and expertise in strategic business planning, system development, P&L accountability/ fiscal controls, portfolio, vendor and change management, IT/Network Operations, business & technology transformation, Cloud & SaaS Solutions and service delivery.

Shoyinka Shodunke holds a Bachelor of Technology in Mathematics Statistic/Operations Research from the Federal University of Technology Yola, Nigeria, a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Northampton, United Kingdom and a Post Graduate Diploma with a major in Global Management from the University of Salford Manchester, United Kingdom.

He has a solid track record, with many landmark achievements such as; moving Vodafone and MTN Cameroun to number 1 on their respective net promoter scores; a driver in a successful convergence implementation within a 2 year time frame and winning the undisputed best network for MTN Cameroun at the Ookla award (First ever triple award for fastest network, coverage and best network and the Rhode and Schwartz award for the best and fastest network for voice and data).

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MTN Nigeria appoints first female CMO

Adia Sowho (LinkedIn) has been appointed as the first Female CMO for MTN Nigeria.

She brings over 20 years of experience spanning the telecoms and consulting industries.

Adia began her career in 2001 at U.S. Cellular Corporation in America as a Radio Frequency Engineer, before moving to Deloitte Consulting LLP, Chicago, the United States of America as Management Consultant in 2007. In 2010, she returned to Nigeria and joined EMTS/Etisalat Nigeria/9Mobile holding multiple leadership positions as Head Strategy and Business Development, Head Digital Media and then Director, Digital Business until her departure in 2018.

She then joined Migo formerly, San Francisco, CA, U.S.A as Managing Director for their Nigerian Office and then Vice President, Growth between 2018 and 2020.

She joins MTN from Thrive Agric, Nigeria where she served as the Chief Executive Officer.

She comes to MTN with key knowledge and expertise in commerce, strategic business planning and growth, digital infrastructure and a track record of designing, building and scaling tech-driven platform companies in emerging markets delivering +$100M businesses.


Adia holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Electrical Engineering with a  major in Communications from the University of Sheffield, the United Kingdom, and a Master of Business Administration from Kellogg School of Management (one of the oldest business management schools in the world with its 2-year MBA Programme ranked No. 3 in the U.S. by Forbes and No. 4 globally by The Economist) with majors in Strategy, Analytical Consulting, Strategic Marketing and Entrepreneurship.

Her achievements include building the pilot operation for MIGO an AI-driven digital credit start-up and delivering a 10X revenue multiple that supported Series A and B fundraises.

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Migo is currently Nigeria’s largest consumer lender by volume. She also turned around Thrive Agric, an Agricultural platform startup that defaulted on financial obligations as a result of the pandemic by managing stakeholders, developing a business case and deploying funding to prevent the company’s collapse.

MTN Group has also disclosed its intension to sell down up to 14% of its investment in MTN Nigeria, subject to market conditions over the medium-term, MTN Nigeria’s shareholders approved an equity shelf programme at the last Annual General Meeting.

This will facilitate a process to increase ownership of the Company by more Nigerian retail and institutional investors.


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