Hours after two groups protested in its Abuja and Benin offices against the violent killing of foreigners in its home country, South Africa, MTN Nigeria on Monday warned that should there be attacks on its facilities, it might be forced to close shop. And 99 per cent of its over 6,000 workforce in the country, who are Nigerians, would be thrown into the labour market.
According to the Corporate Service Executive, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Wale Goodluck, there are only 12 expatriates working for the company in the country, compared to a workforce of 6,000 Nigerians. It also said that calls for the boycott of its services were unjustified as such an action would affect its
support chain, which could cause another 500,000 Nigerians to lose their means of livelihood.
Punch reports that Goodluck said:
“So, if people go ahead with their threats to attack our facilities, what that means is that we may be forced to close down the business in Nigeria and about 6,000 Nigerians that make up 99 per cent of our workforce will be unemployed.
Then, when you look at our support chain, we have about 500,000 Nigerians gainfully employed. So, boycotting our services simply means destroying so many other Nigerian businesses and making over 500,000 other Nigerians to lose their jobs.
This business supports a lot of businesses across the length and breadth of Nigeria. Many of the businesses that are affiliated to South Africa are in the retail space, supporting the growth of Nigeria and employing so many Nigerians.”
He noted that the company had spent in excess of $15bn on capital expenditure growing the telecommunications business in Nigeria.
“We see no revenge of Xenophobia and we commend the role the Nigerian High Commissioner in South Africa has played; at least there has been no fatality on the part of any Nigerian,” Goodluck added.