Notable entertainment and sports personalities in the country have lent their support to the ongoing employee volunteerism programme of Nigeria's telecommunications company, MTN, which is tagged, '21 Days of Y'ello Care.'

The annual programme initiated by the MTN Group in 2007, encourages MTN employees in all its 21 operations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East to volunteer their resources, time and skills to help others and the communities they live and work in.

The Nigerian operation of MTN is focusing on education and malaria eradication during this year's edition of the programme.

At the official kick-off of the programme in Lagos, dozens of Nigeria's most famous people in entertainment and sports gathered alongside key executives and wokers of MTN at the company's head office in Lagos to show their support for the programme.

Nollywood celebrity actors, Chinedu Ikedieze, Osita Iheme and Saint Obi, as well as former Super Eagles players such as Friday Elaho, Ike Shorunmu and a host of others lauded the programme, which they described as a credible initiative to help stem the tide of malaria-induced deaths in Nigeria.

Ikedieze said, 'I am delighted to be part of MTN's contribution to the general fight to stem the prevalence of malaria in Nigeria. Malaria is a mass killer and any effort aimed at combating it is welcome and should be encouraged.

'I also would like to commend the company for promoting quality education and for all the social investments it has made in recent past'.

Obi, in his own remarks, noted that awareness creation remained a key component in the fight against malaria in Nigeria and indeed Africa.

'That is why such a programme as the 21 Days of Y'ello Care is laudable as it helps to facilitate information flow to the people about how to effectively combat this deadly disease,' he said.

The Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Ahmad Farroukh, thanked the celebrities for lending their support to the initiative, saying that a combined effort of all and sundry was needed to eradicate the disease from Nigeria.

'MTN has plugged into two global fronts the -United Against Malaria and One Goal. We believe that the prevalence of malaria and illiteracy reduces the country's fortunes economically and developmentally.

Statistically a child dies every 30 seconds from malaria in Africa and a high percentage of children is out of school. This is why we are taking the fight against malaria to the communities where we operate, and lending our support to the global campaign for a better commitment to education.'

According to Farroukh, scores of MTN employees will be going around the communities implementing a broad range of activities aimed at kicking out malaria from Nigeria and generally improving the quality of life in the communities.

'The volunteers will be operating under two teams, Team Educate and Team Eradicate,' he said.