July 23, 2017
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Paul AdepojuJul 17, 2017


The Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, has revealed that a fresh crisis is looming in the telecoms sector. He said foreign service providers and equipment suppliers have threatened to disconnect their Nigerian counterparts over an alleged breach of agreement thus cutting off telephone access to US, Europe and others.

He revealed that the latest crisis was brought about by the inability of some Nigerian operators to meet their financial obligations. If the development is not addressed timely and adequately, he said the country’s 150 million active subscribers may encounter challenges putting a call through from Nigeria to Europe, America and other parts of the world.

“It is going to be equally difficult for the local firms to procure equipment for expansion of their services in Nigeria and that could further lower the quality of service in the country,” he added.

He revealed that some of the foreign vendors had issued a notice of disconnection of service to their Nigerian counterparts, which could disrupt service availability with attendant negative impact on customers’ experience any time soon.

Commenting on the development, the President of the National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers of Nigeria (NATCOMS), Deolu Ogunbanjo, said there could be a collapse which he said would affect all other sectors of the economy including banking.

Paul AdepojuJul 10, 2017


Etisalat has announced it is severing ties with its Nigerian arm by terminating its management agreement. This means that the brand will be phased out of Nigeria, Hatem Dowidar, the chief executive of Etisalat International told Reuters on Monday.

Dowidar said all UAE shareholders of Etisalat Nigeria have exited the company and have left the board and management. According to him, discussions were ongoing with Etisalat Nigeria to provide technical support, adding that it can use the brand for another three-weeks before phasing it out

“There’s a new board and we are not part of that company. We have sent our termination letter for the management agreement,” he told Reuters.

Dowidar revealed that parent Etisalat had written down the value of the Nigerian business on its books and that transferring its 45 percent stake to the lenders after loan renegotiation talks collapsed had no impact on the group.

When asked whether Etisalat would consider returning to Nigeria, Dowidar said: “The train has left the station on that one. Being in that market as an investor … are we willing to risk more money compared to the reward for the long-term?”

The CEO said Etisalat had been unsuccessful at converting some of its dollar debt to local Nigerian currency. He also said the group might exit or merge with a local rival in markets where it was not one of the top two players. He did not specify which markets.

Etisalat is among the top two in markets such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt and Afghanistan, he said.

“(Nigerian) lenders may try to continue to operate the company until they find a buyer (or) they may merge the company with the existing players in Nigeria, he said, adding that it was tough to say what lenders would do.

“The brand agreement in either of these two scenarios won’t be a long-term thing, so we take out the brand; in the long term Etisalat won’t be in Nigeria.”

Paul AdepojuJul 5, 2017


An amicable resolution has been reached by Nigerian banks and Etisalat over the debt owed by the telecoms company, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Making the announcement, Tony Ojobo, the director, Public Affairs, NCC, said a smooth transitional process was currently ongoing on mutually agreed terms and that the amicable resolution would allay the fears of stakeholders on enquiries regarding the current position on Etisalat Nigeria.

He said NCC was confident that the amicable resolutions reached by the parties would further strengthen Etisalat’s capacity to continue to provide services to its over 20 million customers. With the resolutions, Ojobo said Etisalat will be able to fulfill its obligations to its other stakeholders as a fast growing business concern.

“This is regardless of any changes that the parties have agreed to Etisalat’s ownership, its board and/or executive management. We further wish to assure that as empowered by the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, the commission will continue to work assiduously with all industry stakeholders.

“This is to ensure that the Nigerian telecommunications industry remains capable of playing its critical role as a key driver of national socioeconomic development,” he said.

“The commission also wishes to acknowledge the pivotal role of the Central Bank of Nigeria in resolving the matter in a manner that protects the interests of all stakeholders, especially the creditor banks and Etisalat’s over 20 million customers,” Ojobo said.



Hakeem Bello-Osagie, 62 has resigned his appointment as Chairman of telco, Etisalat following the approval of a ‘restructuring’ plan for the firm. The resignation takes effect immediately and is connected with the ongoing N541billion loan recovery and bank take-over blow the company has been dealt in recent times.

“Although the chairman had planned to leave immediately the banks made the take-over move, he opted to tarry until a road map for the company was finalised. The timing of the resignation was strategically delayed till now when stakeholders have agreed a plan and comes more than a week after Mubadala Development Company directors tendered their resignation,” reports reveal. Indications point to the fact that the resignation of these shareholders, including Bello-Osagie’s is to simplify the loan repayment and absolve the individuals of any criminality should the case get to court. “It is now expected that Etisalat Nigeria under its new shareholding structure will navigate through its current loan repayment challenge with minimum impact.”

Paul AdepojuJun 28, 2017


The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has announced that telecoms companies in Nigeria must obtain permit from it before erecting high rise structures. According to the NCAA, GSM companies must always obtain Aviation Height Clearance (AHC), Permits and Licences before constructing of high rise structures.

According to a statement by Sam Adurogboye, the general manger, public relations of NCAA, others affected by the warning are landing facilities owners, stakeholders and the general public. The Permits, Aviation Height Clearance and Licences are to be obtained before the construction of the following – Tower, Telecommunication Masts, High Rise Buildings/Structures and Landing facilities.

NCAA said: “These landing facilities include construction of Helipad/Helideck for civil use and Heliports. This action is in line to the Civil Aviation Act. 2006 Part IX (30) (L) which empowers the Authority to prohibit, regulate and remove any structure which, by virtue of its height or position, is considered to endanger the safety of aircraft operations.

In addition, the Civil Aviation Act. 2006 Part IX (30) (K) stipulates that the Authority will grant and certify “licences for the construction of Helipads, Helidecks, and Heliports. It is therefore an exercise in illegality to operate into a heliport (surface level, elevated or helideck) without the approval of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority NCAA.”

Paul AdepojuJun 27, 2017


The 2017 edition of BDO’s annual Telecommunications Risk Factor Survey reveals that the number of telecoms giants concerned with regulatory constraints have almost doubled, from 42% to 80% in one year. This contrasts with the 2016 survey results, when currency fluctuations, interest rates and liquidity were what telecoms executives bothered themselves with.

The five main risks that are keeping telecoms executives awake at night are: digital transformation agenda, regulatory burden, growth of cyber warfare, volatile macroeconomic and political environment, and the infrastructure investment challenge.

Christian Goetz, Head of BDO’s global telecommunications industry group comments: “The pace of change faced by the global telecoms sector has never been more intense. The average revenue per customer in the telecoms industry is falling and customer loyalty is decreasing as choice proliferates. Business customers – and particularly SMEs, once a captive market – are now also moving towards OTT providers and new technologies. However, established telecoms companies have to shoulder the burden of the infrastructure investment, whereas content providers and new competitors in the industry reap the benefits of this infrastructure without having to make significant investments.

“Telecoms’ growth prospects will depend on how successfully they can navigate the complex risk landscape ahead and reshape their businesses to take full advantage of future opportunities. It is encouraging that many have already begun to employ creative ideas. Telecom companies have successfully set-up incubators and venture capital teams for R&D, but sophisticated financial planning and strengthened cyber security are also required. Telecoms cannot afford to be complacent and must continue to evolve.”

BDO’s Risk Factor Survey reveals that digital transformation is not only a challenge in mature markets: in India, for example, Tata Teleservices reports that customers are switching from voice telephony to data services in large numbers.

Of particular concern to the telecoms companies BDO engages with is the dual impact of EU data roaming regulations, and global regulatory frameworks regarding net neutrality and widening internet access.

New accounting standards such as IFRS 16 impose a financial risk to telecoms companies because they are now required to report more debt on their balance sheet.

Paul AdepojuJun 26, 2017


The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has  explained why it is intervening in the issues surrounding the syndicated loans obtained by Etisalat Nigeria from a conglomerate of 13 Nigerian banks.

This is the first time the regulator would be confirming that Etisalat could potentially affect the Nigerian economy, particularly the banking sector.

According to Isaac Okorafor, CBN’s spokesperson, “Although it should ordinarily not be the role of a regulator to decide how individual bad loans are resolved, the CBN believes that Etisalat is a systemically important telecommunications company with over 20 million subscribers that if not well handled, may have negative implications for the banking system itself.”

According to him, the CBN and Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) envisaged that the banks could reduce the company’s workforce which stands at over 4,000 thus prompting the intervention of the CBN and NCC.

“Both regulators implore the consortium of banks to re-assess its position in dealing with Etisalat,” he said.

Paul AdepojuJun 21, 2017


Yesterday’s big news in Nigeria’s tech ecosystem is the announcement by Etisalat Group that it is transferring its shares in Etisalat Nigeria to a consortium of Nigerian banks following the operator’s inability to pay the USD1.2 billion syndicated loan it obtained from the banks in 2013. But there’s a  very important detail missing, the deal cannot go through without the approval of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Last night, the commission revealed that the banks would have to deal with some regulatory issues before it could get the nod of the commission. Tony Ojobo, spokesman of the commission referred the banks to  Section 38 and Sub section 1 of the Nigerian Communications Act of 2003:

“The grant of a license shall be personal to the licensee and the license shall not be operated by, assigned, sub licensed or transferred to another party unless the prior written approval of the commission has been granted.”

also, Sub Section 2 of the same provision equally states that, “A licensee shall at all times comply by the terms and condition of the license and the provision of this act and its subsidiary legislation.”

Ojobo said the commission and the CBN held several meetings with the banks, Etisalat and other stakeholders to reach a resolution.

“Regrettably these meetings did not yield the desired results,” said Ojobo.

Whilst the banks and Etisalat are working at resolving the issues, NCC assured subscribers that they will continue to enjoy the services provided by Etisalat.

“In view of the recent development, NCC wishes to reassure all stakeholders in the telecommunications sector in particular the subscribers on the Etisalat Network that the Commission will ensure that the integrity of Etisalat Network is not compromised,” Ojobo added.

Paul AdepojuJun 20, 2017


Etisalat is now under new management following the breakdown of its negotiations with Nigerian banks over its USD1.2 billion loan.

According to media reports, the takeover followed the collapse of the effort by Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services, EMTS, promoted by one-time Chairman, United Bank for Africa, UBA, Hakeem Bello-Osagie, to reach agreement with the banks on debt restructuring plan in the protracted $1.72 billion (about N541.8 billion) debt impasse.

However, EMTS Holding BV, established in the Netherlands, has up to June 23 to complete the transfer of 100 percent of the company’s shares in Etisalat to the United Capital Trustees Limited, the legal representative of the consortium of banks.

Etisalat Group, the parent company of Etisalat Nigeria, announced the takeover on Tuesday in a filing to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirate.

“Further to our announcement dated 12 February, 2017, Emirates Telecommunications Group Company PJSC, “Etisalat Group” would like to inform you that Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services Limited “EMTS” (“the company), established in Nigeria and an associate of Etisalat Group with effective ownership of 45% and 25% ordinary and preference shares respectively, defaulted on a facility agreement with a syndicate of Nigerian banks (“EMTS Lenders”).

“Subsequently, discussions between EMTS and the EMTS Lenders did not produce an agreement on a debt restructuring plan.

“Accordingly, the Company received a default and security Enforcement Notice on 9 June 2017 requesting EMTS Holding BV (EMTS BV) established in the Netherlands, and through which Etisalat Group holds its interest in the company) requiring EMTS BV to transfer 100% of its shares in the company to the United Capital Trustees Limited (the Security Trustee”) of the EMTS Lenders by 15 June 2017.

Subsequently the EMTS Lenders extended the deadline for the share transfer to 5.00 pm Lagos time on 23 June 2017,” the filing said.

Paul AdepojuJun 19, 2017


Amidst uncertainties on the fate of the company following its inability to repay the $1.2 billion loan it obtained from 13 Nigerian banks, Etisalat has denied reports that Mubadala Development Company, the majority shareholder of the company is exiting the business.

In a statement made available to TechCity, Etisalat said it is premature at this stage of the ongoing discussions to affirm that Mubadala’s exit is the conclusive option.

“Etisalat Nigeria considers it pertinent to state that parties to the negotiation are considering a number of options and discussions are at an advanced stage regarding the syndicated loan agreement with the banks. It will therefore be presumptive and in bad faith to begin to predict the outcome. Discussions have so far been quite collaborative and we expect to reach a final resolution [this] week, by which time we will be in the position to make a definitive announcement,” Etisalat stated..

Etisalat Nigeria confirmed that negotiations with the consortium of banks regarding the syndicated loan agreement signed in 2013 have reached an advanced stage. The company added that they are considering a number of options and are not taking anything off the table at this time.

“Etisalat remains a viable business, having recorded its best financial year in 2016. Parties are keen to ensure that the ongoing discussions and eventual outcome do not affect the day to day operations of the business whether now or after the announcement of our agreement. All parties have continually demonstrated an interest in the continued operations of Etisalat as a business as it remains the backbone of millions of small business owners; multinationals, government and indeed Nigerian subscribers in general,” said Ibrahim Dikko, VP, Regulatory & Corporate Affairs, Etisalat Nigeria.

Paul AdepojuJun 13, 2017


The latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report foresees 2.6 billion new mobile broadband subscribers will be added through 2022 – averaging to more than one million each day. The report predicted that the dominant access technology will be LTE (also known as 4G) in 2018, making it the fastest-growing mobile technology in history

Total traffic in mobile networks grew 70 percent between end of Q1, 2016 and end of Q1, 2017. Ericsson foresees continued rapid growth of mobile connectivity as global mobile data traffic increases to eight times its current level by 2022.

This traffic is the equivalent of:

  • The population of Spain streaming HD video 24 hours per day for a month
  • A single subscriber streaming HD video continuously for 3.55 million years
  • 31 billion hours of continuous HD video streaming

For the next six years, nearly 2.6 billion new subscribers will be added to mobile broadband networks – enough to fill a European championship soccer stadium (with capacity of 50,000) 20 times each day. As many people went to Times Square in New York to welcome in the new year for 2017.

The latest collection of statistics about the growth of subscribers and data traffic in mobile networks is presented in the June edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report. It shows the highest year-on-year mobile data growth globally since 2013, led by massive growth in India, and highlights the underlying need for mobile data.

The use of smartphones and easy access to mobile internet services comprise a major part of the traffic numbers. Ericsson analyzes “smartphone mobile data traffic” within “mobile data traffic” to illustrate this trend more clearly. By the end of 2022, total smartphone mobile data traffic will have increased 9X, reaching 66 ExaBytes per month.

Niklas Heuveldop, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Technology and Emerging Business, Ericsson, says: “Based on measurements made in hundreds of mobile networks, the Ericsson Mobility Report data truly illustrates the tremendous underlying growth in the industry. 4G subscriptions are increasing faster than ever, Voice over LTE uptake is accelerating and traffic growth has reached levels we have not seen since 2013.

“I am particularly excited to see the industry’s major steps to progress network evolution, including the approval of the Non-Standalone 5G New Radio (NR) that will enable early 5G deployments. According to our forecast, we anticipate that this will lead to more than half a billion 5G subscriptions and a population coverage of 15 percent by 2022.”

On industry trends, the Mobility Report features articles on Internet for all, massive IoT coverage in cities and remote operation of vehicles with 5G.

The report also predicted that in 2018, LTE (4G) will overtake GSM as the largest access technology by number of subscriptions. The speed with which this technology has been rolled out and adopted is unprecedented. It has taken only five years for LTE to cover 2.5 billion people, compared to eight years for WCDMA/HSPA, or 3G. In the first quarter of this year alone, 250 million new LTE subscriptions were added.

While LTE uptake is driven by demand for improved user experience and faster networks, 5G deployment will also be driven by the need for enhanced mobile broadband capabilities as well as industry solutions for efficiency and automation. 5G will be the one network to support a diversity of use cases. More than half a billion 5G subscriptions are expected to be activated by 2022, not including IoT connections. 5G is then expected to cover around 15 percent of the world’s population.

Paul AdepojuJun 12, 2017


The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has announced it has gotten the approval of the Nigerian Communication Agency (NCC) to partner with MTN to roll out MobileMet which is expected to get 30 million daily users paying NGN1 daily.

The Director-General of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Prof. Sani Mashi revealed that the agency has already concluded all necessary details with the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) on its MobileMet and a frequency has been allocate to it.

Mashi revealed that the targeted number of daily users of the MobileMet service is 30 million subscribers each paying N1daily.

“We have approached NCC and the Commission has allocated a frequency to us and we have also discussed with MTN. We have reached  necessary agreement with MTN. The law setting NIMET has empowered us to render such services. If we get about 30 million subscribers on a daily basis at N1.00, it means the agency we be making N30million daily,” Mashi said.

Mashi made this announcement at the official opening of a workshop for State Metrological Inspectors (SMI) and Chief Metrological Technologists (CMT).

Paul AdepojuJun 7, 2017


Godfrey Eneye, lawyer and MTN subscriber,  has won a lawsuit against MTN in which he claimed the network violated his rights by revealing or permitting his private line registered with the network provider to be accessed by other organisations and persons ‘who sent unsolicited, irritating and annoying messages to the said line’.

PUNCH reported that Eneye told the Federal High Court that the operator allowed individuals, organisations and other bodies to send unsolicited SMS to his phone line”

MTN on the other hand claimed that it did not disclose the subscriber’s phone details to third parties.

“The appellant did not show or even suggest that it notified the respondent before giving access to his line to the senders of the text messages,” Justice Agim ruled.

“By giving those unknown persons and organisations access to the respondent’s MTN GSM phone number, to send text messages into it, the appellant violated the respondent’s fundamental right to privacy guaranteed by section 37 of the Constitution which includes the right to the privacy of a person’s telephone line.

“The said section 37 of the 1999 Constitution provides that, ‘The privacy of citizens, their homes, correspondence, telephone conversations and telegraphic conversations is hereby guaranteed and protected’.

“The innumerable text messages without his consent at all times is a violation of his fundamental right to the privacy of his telephone conversations, correspondence and his person and telephone line and telephone message inbox.”

Paul AdepojuJun 5, 2017


Tech giant Vodacom strongly believes that in the future, classrooms will no longer be described as rooms within a school, where students are taught. Instead, they will be any space where learning takes place – but the key enabler of mobile learning today, Vodacom states, is the Internet.

“Today, assignments are completed online and uploaded through classroom portals. Posting of grades and results are also done online. However, in the near future, group projects will be completed through collaborative software and students will use cloud storage instead of flash drives or paper to store their work. Teachers, parents, students and administrators will communicate through social media platforms designed specifically for education or for a school. All this will be made possible through the power of the Internet,” Vodacom said in a statement made available to TechCity.

Speaking at the Total School Support Exhibition (TOSSE) last Friday, Funke Atanda, Senior Manager, Product Portfolio, Vodacom Business Nigeria. Atanda said teachers need to embrace the internet and they need to be computer literate because laptops and other educational technology will eliminate the use of paper.

“As the Internet and computers become more accessible and cheaper; instead of teachers copying handouts and exams to give to students, they will be pushed online to students”. She added that the role of the teacher will change from instructor to guide, maintaining that the responsibility now lies with teachers to become tech savvy and ready for not only future classrooms but future learners,” Atanda said.

According to her, not only will the instructive methods change in classrooms of the future but the classroom layout will too. Students will sit side by-side and not behind or in-front of each other; a more appropriate design for students to collaborate and not compete with each other. Classwork and assignments will also be based on shared efforts and not individual efforts, resulting in an environment where students will innovate, critique, challenge the status quo, code and invent new technologies that improve learning and living.

Paul AdepojuJun 1, 2017


There are strong indications that telecoms giant, MTN is edging towards making an official announcement on rumored plans to acquire MultiChoice Africa and a decision could be reached as early as this month.

Headquartered in Randburg South Africa, MultiChoice was founded in 1996 and has grown to become a video entertainment and internet company with a strong presence in South Africa and across the African continent.

PUNCH reported that top management employees at the MTN Group head office in Johannesburg, South Africa disclosed the company will “take a stand” by the end of June on its plans to acquire MultiChoice Africa.

It revealed that MTN and MultiChoice have been discussing since the last quarter of 2016 on the acquisition deal and  it is now that the telecoms giant’s decision about two years ago to acquire a digital pay TV license in Nigeria for NGN34 billion is beginning to make sense. It would be recalled that MTN coughed out an additional NGN25 billion to put the service in order in May 2016.

Also in September 2015, Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) gave MTN Nigeria part of the country’s 700MHz broadcasting spectrum solely for the purpose.

“Should we (the MTN Group) finally come to agree to terms with MultiChoice, which is expected to happen before June ending, then the pronouncement will be made in July,” a source told PUNCH.

The source added, “Well, the whole gambit depends on the outcome we get from MultiChoice Nigeria, which is the cash cow for the pay television company.

“MultiChoice realises that in whatever acquisition plan it wants to get into, the Nigerian market must be strongly considered, given its peculiarities and the dynamics from rival companies.”

“But above all, MTN is particularly bothered that the country (Nigeria) where it has its highest number of telecommunications subscribers will not be able to meet the June 2017 deadline for digital migration, despite having failed to meet the earlier deadline of June 2015. So, it is of the conviction that the acquisition will only present a stronger frontier to give Nigerians the opportunity to watch TV, even on their smartphones, after June 2017. Other countries in Africa that will be affected by the digital migration deadline will also benefit from the opportunities inherent.”

Paul AdepojuMay 30, 2017


Telecoms giant MTN has gotten a N221 million waiver permit from the Kano State government following the intervention of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). The waiver will allow the operator to complete a network infrastructure upgrade and fibre layout in the state.

According to media report, some staff of Huawei who were working on the telecommunication infrastructure expansion in Kano on behalf of MTN, were arrested by the officials of the Kano State Urban Planning and Development Authority (KANUPDA).

This prompted the intervention of the commission whose head, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, subsequently visited the State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, and the government magnanimously waived the permit fee of N221million for the deployment of fibre infrastructure in the state.

Danbatta was said to have convinced the Governor about the economic advantages that the state stands to gain from the deployment of more telecommunication infrastructure as well the potential quality of service issues that millions of service subscribers would face if the work was further delayed.

In a letter signed by the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, KANUPDA, Bashir Mudi Adamu, and addressed to MTN, the agency, however, said the waiver of permit fees was granted in respect of two federal roads, Zaria Road and Maiduguri Road in the state.

Paul AdepojuMay 9, 2017


Latest figures released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) revealed that the number of Internet users in Nigeria declined by 26,081.

According to NCC’s latest figures, internet users in the country stood at 90,003,101 in March as contained in the NCC’s Monthly Internet Subscribers Data for March released on Monday in Lagos.

A breakdown of the figures showed that internet users on both Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) networks dropped from 90,029,182 in February to 90,003,101 in March.

Out of the 90,003,101 internet users in March, 89,972,792 were GSM subscribers while 30,309 users were on CDMA networks. The report showed that GSM service providers lost 26,081 internet customers after recording 89,972,792 users in March, as against 89,998,873 it recorded in February. CDMA operators on the other hand retained 30,309 internet subscribers in March as recorded in February 2017.

MTN still dominates the market with 30,519,351 internet subscribers and recording an increase of 218,646 internet subscribers in March, after recording 30,300,705 in February. Globacom also recorded a surge in internet subscribers ending the month of March with 27,021,200 subscribers – an increase of 88,715 from 26,932,485 in February.

Airtel on the other hand lost almost 45,000 subscribers ending the month with 19.468 million internet users in February to 19.423 million in March. Etisalat also lost subscribers with 13,008,481 customers  in March, revealing a decrease of 288,518 users from the 13,296,999 users recorded in February.

The data also showed that CDMA operators, Multi-Links and Visafone had a joint total of 30,309 internet users on their networks in March, maintaining the same record of February. According to the data, Visafone has 30,305 customers surfing the internet in March, while Multi-Links has just four internet users.

Paul AdepojuMay 2, 2017


The services of 280 workers of MTN Nigeria were no longer needed, prompting their disengagement last Friday according to the operator.

MTN said the disengagement exercise which affected 280 mostly long-serving workers would enable the company to delve into full ICT and digital operations.

Pleading anonymity, an MTN official said in Lagos on Monday that the company would inject another group of new employees, capable of delivering on it new goals. The source said that the disengagement was necessary because of the changing dynamics of the telecommunications industry in recent time.

The source said that the service provider introduced the Voluntary Severance Scheme (VSS), urging staff to apply for voluntary disengagement.

According to the source, only 200 workers applied for the VSS, while 80 were given compulsory disengagement The source added that those affected were those who had worked for five years and above in the company.

The source said that the affected workers were given  a severance pay of  75 per cent of their gross monthly income, multiplied by the number of years they had worked with the company.

“Those who decided to leave under the VSS were 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 the person’s gross salary times five.”

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