About 280 staff of MTN Nigeria have been relieved of their jobs by the South African telecommunications firm.
Information has it that it was a voluntary exercise based on an agreement between those that were sacked and the company’s human resources department.
Sources within the firm confirmed to The Guardian that those affected, about 280 were mostly permanent employees, who had spent five years and above with the organisation from 2001 when MTN began commercial service in Nigeria. The source revealed that MTN Nigeria has 1800 permanent staff.
Though, as at press time, the firm had not issued a statement to that effect, a source, however, explained to The Guardian that the latest downsizing affected about 280 staff, who voluntarily agreed to leave the company.
The source said the sackings were as a result of “the changing dynamics of the telecoms industry in recent times.”
According to the source, when the company started operation in Nigeria in 2001, “ICT was just coming up, so many people employed then were not that tech savvy, but since MTN has become a full-fledged ICT Company, the management decides to inject fresh tech savvy employees into the system. The plan, which will be unveiled soon will be to employ a new set of people, young and dynamic that will drive the new vision of the firm in earnest.”
The source said the company introduced the Voluntary Severance Scheme (VSS), to provide a window for one week in April, for persons who have served in MTN for five years and above to take up.
“Those who decided to leave under the VSS were to be paid the equivalent of their three weeks gross salary for every year they worked with MTN.
“What it means is that if one worked in MTN for five years, one would be paid three weeks of their gross salaries times five.”
She claimed that all the 280 staff were disengaged under the VSS and paid their due benefits.
A report claimed that MTN, which was fined by the Nigerian authorities to the tune of $5.2 billion in 2015 but reduced to N780 billion in 2016 for contravening regulatory orders to disconnect about 5.2 million unregistered subscribers on its network, recorded nearly $1 billion in profit in 2016.