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AIRTEL, MTN Under Microscope Over Outsourcing Policy

By on December 3, 2012

The concept of outsourcing, according to  its proponent Jack Welch, the great former CEO of General Electric in the United States, is designed to bring effectiveness to a particular core of Industry. This may have been bastardized by two of the leading Telecommunications companies in Nigeria, Airtel and MTN.

Airtel which is an Indian Company based in New Delhi has put itself under watch following the recent activities of disengaging the Nigerian contractors that manage their call centre agents  to two of their fellow  Indian companies that are involved in managing the call centre which is Tech Mahindra and Spanco.

Tech Mahindra manages the Lagos call centre, and  Spanco the Abuja call centre respectively. The reason for the deal was to reduce cost, meaning the call centre agents are earning lesser than before under these two firms.

Both firms, a source hinted, are planning to move their operation from Lagos and Abuja to Abeokuta and Ibadan thereby confirming the cheap services they desire to utilize in the new dispensation which is drawing the attention of the Nigerian Labour Congress .

It will be recalled that last year the Lagos and Abuja call centres were shut down for some months because of the Industrial action carried out by the Airtel call centre agents over the unfavourable conditions and treatment meted to them by the two Indian firms which took the intervention of the Labour Minister Chief Emeka Wogu and the Nigerian Labour Congress President Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar to resolve amicably.

Speaking on the trend of outsourcing in the Industry the President of Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operations in Nigeria (ALTON) Engr Gbenga  Adebayo said “It is a worrisome development because we need to protect local skills and develop our manpower so that they can provide support for global firms in Nigeria.

“Nigeria has good knowledge base and Nigerians have what it takes to do the job.”

Airtel’s activities may  have also influenced MTN to engage in new outsourcing processes and in the last quarter of last year it had a clash with the Nigerian Labour Congress that led to the closure of Call centre in Jos, because of the meagre pay package of 30,000.00 agents were receiving per month.

Labour also hinted that MTN was planning to  engage the services of Chinese firms which means likely job cuts for Nigerians in the Company.

But speaking  on the issue Mr Tony Ojobo the Public Affairs Manager for the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)   stressed that it was not part of its jurisdiction or sphere to dictate to telecoms operators how to recruit its staff.

 In separate statements on the issue, the General Manager, Corporate Affairs MTN Mrs Funmilayo Omogbenigun, said her company was committed to outsourcing best practices in the globe, while Mr Emeka Opara Head Corporate Affairs for Airtel was surprised at how this development has become a topic of discussion when Airtel has achieved remarkable feats in the Industry.

Labour Minister Chief Emeka Wogu in a recent interview on the issue said “There was a time Airtel had challenges with the labour union and we went into the matter. Based on the issues presented, the issues were resolved with the support of the NLC.” .

He further stated that a Ministerial committee on the issue of Local Content and Skills development had been set up with him and his Interior ministry  counterpart  as members, saddled with the task of  Identifying  and proffering solutions on the issue.

One Comment

  1. Harry

    December 3, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Nigeria is wicked, minister of Labour, shut up you mouth you people have hands in all this things we know