Nigeria’s largest telecoms network MTN has said it would not hesitate to leave the country if its facilities are targeted in retaliation to the xenophobic attacks on foreigners in various parts of South Africa.
The company also described ongoing calls for the boycott of its network in Nigeria, over the situation in South Africa, as unjustified – adding that if forced to leave, 6000 workers could be without jobs.
Reacting to protests held at MTN facilities in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja and in Benin, Corporate Service Executive at MTN Nigeria Wale Goodluck said only 12 expatriates from South Africa work with MTN Nigeria.
He 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.”
In early April 2015 it was reported that the MTN Group had started the process of buying Visafone Communications of Nigeria as part of expansion plans in the region.
Recent figures state that MTN Nigeria had 59.9 million subscribers at the end of 2014, more than a quarter of its 223 million total across 22 countries.