MTN to exit Nigeria over harassment, fines

MTN Nigeria may exit the Nigerian market over incessant harassment and threats to its operations from many quarters in the country.

 This came as Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa arrived Nigeria to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari to reassure of safety of Nigerians, following the killings of many Nigerians in renewed xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

But the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) had on Monday began the picketing of MTN offices, which NLC claimed was in protest against non-unionisation of its workers.

 The leadership of the NLC and other members had barricaded the head office of the company in Lagos for hours, preventing workers from carrying out their daily duties.

 Tobechukwu Okigbo, Corporate Relations Executive, MTN in his reaction, said the “the violence and the needless destruction of property is deeply saddening. As always our primary concern is the safety and well-being of our employees, some of whom were attacked by supposed NLC operatives and have sustained injuries.

 We do not prevent our employees from associating amongst themselves as they deem fit and owe our employees the obligation to ensure they are not compelled to join associations. MTN supports the freedom of association as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution.

All workers have rights that should be protected. We work hard to not only ensure that this is done but also to ensure that our company is a Great Place to Work. We will continue to champion our peoples’ rights, whether they are part of a union or not and work hard to minimise disruptions in service to our customers” he added.

But another official said that the network firm may consider shutting its Nigerian operations if the hostilities continues.

MTN is facing a plethora challenges in Nigeria ranging from incessant imposition of fines and penalties by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to endless harassment by the National Assembly through Senate probes.

Sometime ago too, the Senate began harassing the company over alleged illegal transfer of $13.2 billion.