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Uncertainty over MTN’s plan to cut Nigerian workforce


mtnWHILE the management of MTN continues its discussion with Nigerian authorities for further downward review of the fine slammed on it, different signals emerged from the company yesterday that the telecommunications firm might be considering plans to reduce its workforce in Nigeria.

Already, the imposed fine has claimed three casualties, one from South Africa, the Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Sifiso Dabengwa and two from Nigeria, the first indigenous CEO, Michael Ikpoki and the Regulatory and Corporate Service Executive, Akinwale Goodluck.

Sources had it that the three were actually forced to resign their appointment from the company with immediate effect following the way they handled the Subscribers Identification Module (SIM) cards fracas, which earned them an initial N1.04 trillion ($5.2 billion) fine before it was slashed 25 per cent to N780 billion by the Federal Government.

An inside source in the Marketing Department of MTN Nigeria, who spoke to The Guardian on the condition of anonymity, said the management is planning to reduce staff strength, especially in the lower cadre staff.

“This is a difficult time for MTN. We are really facing serious issues. Because of this fine, the management has started cutting cost, which was not like this before. Employees’ allowances are being reviewed. The shocking thing now is that we learnt the management is considering downsizing, especially the lower cadre staff. The plan is to make it an inside thing, it will be silently done. No announcement will be made of the sack. People will just be paid off,” he stated.

However, a senior management staff, who spoke also on the condition of anonymity because of the current situation, denied such sack plan.

“It is a lie. It is not true. The organization is currently lean in terms of staff strength, so how do we manage such sack situation again. MTN cannot be fighting battles at different ends. We are for now concentrated on how to resolve issues around the fine. Those who have been asked to go, it was not as if they were culpable in the matter, but the truth will be told at the right time. For now, no plan to downsize. It may be in the future.

“MTN has become an institution. We are also currently working on how to get more workers,” he stated.

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