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N1tn fine: MTN may sack more workers

By on December 14, 2015

Feelers emanating from MTN Nigeria on Thursday indicated that the telecommunications firm might be nurturing plans to reduce its workforce by sacking a sizeable number of its junior employees.

This is coming one week after the first indigenous Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, Michael Ikpoki, and the Regulatory and Corporate Service Executive, Akinwale Goodluck, exited the company.

Ikpoki and Goodluck left the company following the imposition of a N1.04tn fine on it by the Nigerian Communications Commission for not cutting off over five million unregistered Subscriber Identification Module cards. Following intense lobby, the Federal Government has now slashed the fine by 25 per cent to N780bn.

Reliable sources at the Lagos headquarters of the company told our correspondent on Thursday that the management was planning cut down on the number of employees, especially those in the lower cadre.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one of the sources said, “This is a difficult time for MTN. We are really facing serious issues. Because of this fine, the management has started cutting costs. Employees’ allowances are being reviewed.

“The shocking thing now is that we learnt the management is planning to downsize, especially among the lower cadre staff. The plan is to do it silently. No announcement will be made of the sacking. People will just be paid off.”

However, a senior management employee of the company, who also spoke on condition of anonymity given the current situation of things in the firm, refuted the planned sacking of junior workers.

“It is a lie. It is not true. The organisation is currently lean in terms of staff strength, so how do we manage sacking people again? MTN cannot be fighting battles at different ends,” the source said.

He added, “We are for now concentrated on how to resolve issues around the fine. For those who had 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, there is 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.”

However, another senior management employee of the company countered the claim by his colleague, saying.

“The company may be lean in resources should it eventually pay the fine, but it is not lean in staff strength and that is why it wants some more people out. Now, they have started cutting costs and allowances, and are planning to sack the junior workers without adequate payoff package.

“Is that how the company wants to recoup the N780bn fine should it eventually pay up to that amount?”