" ITREALMS: MTN Nigeria denies mass sack

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Thursday, September 01, 2005

MTN Nigeria denies mass sack

Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) operator, MTN Nigeria, has denied reports that mass sack looms in the organisation, saying it is only repositioning.

This came at the wake of reports that the telco has penciled some of its employees for sack following an outsourcing arrangement, beginning with its MTN Friendship Centers personnel and was anticipated to be redeployed into other departments of the organisation.

MTN Nigeria at an interactive session with newsmen Thursday in Lagos, said all the allegations were unfounded, according to Head, Corporate Communications MTN Nigeria, Ms Funmilayo Omogbenigun, who was accompanied by the Human Resource Executive, Mr. Mutari Wada.

"I wish to state categorically that these stories were not factual," she declared, adding that MTN as a responsive telco does not have such plans for its operations, rather there have been some on-going re-organisation that were focused at various departments within MTN Nigeria.

She explained that due to efficiency of its dealer and distribution network, MTN decided that customers could now easily purchase their Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) packs directly through dealers and distributors as well as subdealers.

This, she said, has led to less reliance on "our service stores and centres".

Stressing that due to wide spread of GSM usage in the country, customers could also purchase handsets and accessories from several shops and business outlets.

MTN she said, is not even retrenching or rightsizing, but is re-aligning, which includes moving staff from the service center function to call centers to face teeming subscribers.

‘This realignment has created good career opportunities in the service environment among some categories of staff," she said.

In addition, this movement of staff would cut across regions in order to satisfy new customer requirements, even as the realignment exercise has brought promotion to the management level about eight (8) employees, whereas others have remained in their former positions.

In respect to allegations on outsourcing, Ms Omogbenigun said, MTN’s dream has been to ensure that Connect Stores are an affective means of reaching out to consumers through service.

"Connect stores are not taking over service centers, neither would the activities of the centers be outsourced to third parties. Connect stories are complementary to our operations," she insisted.

Connect stores are owned by dealers while Friendship or services centers.

Corroborating Ms Omogbenigun, Human Resource Executive, Mr. Mutari Wada, said, "Nobody in the last few months in the service centers have been sacked, but if there is it may be of disciplinary action, and definitely not as a result of downsizing".

According to him, MTN has 180 staff in all its service centers, out of which, 78 would be reabsorbed in other areas while others are expected to remain in their areas of operation within the network group.

He also denied that virtually all the Nigerian employee of the GSM company are on contract which entails that lay-offs are done at random, saying, "We have almost 2,000 staff as permanent staff" even as those who have to leave the company are not rewarded with mere one month compensation.

Maintaining that it is not in the company’s best interest to lose any staff, because they have been trained to be versatile and to be the best of what they do.

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