Members of staff of telecommunication company, MTN Nigeria, are jittery over alleged looming demotion and sack.
The members of staff are said to have expressed their worry following inside top sources disclosure that MTN, which is owned by a South African company, is in the process of divesting from the company and selling it to a yet-to-be-revealed Indian telecoms firm.
The news making the rounds has led to shock and panic moves among the members of staff who have been reliably informed that their jobs may be on the line.
An MTN staff, who requested anonymity, said: “We are hearing news that an Indian company will soon buy MTN and will convert some staff to casual workers while others, especially those with disciplinary records, will be asked to leave.
“How can a staff with full benefits just suddenly be made a casual worker?
“This news is really causing panic and people are not happy.”
It was gathered that most MTN employees are casual workers, though with good university degrees.
Some of them have worked for the company for more than three years and have been lobbying to be fully employed.
An average casual worker with MTN earns about N50,000 monthly, with other sundry benefits such as monthly telephone recharge of N6,000.
Full time staff earn more than N100,000 and N36,000 telephone recharge monthly.
This also depends on the level of the staff as some get other bigger benefits that are above what a casual worker with the same qualification earns.
MTN Nigeria has been experiencing series of attacks on its masts and other installations in the northern region of Nigeria by members of dreaded sect, Boko Haram.
This has led to disruption of services in the region.
MTN is said to be losing huge money and facilities due to this disruption and constant attack.
Boko Haram after each attack on the facilities and masts will blame MTN for assisting Nigerian security officials in tracking and killing their members, hence the attacks on their installations.
MTN has also lost its engineers and transmission equipments to armed robbers in different parts of the country in the past.
Six of such engineers and their police guards were shot dead in 2010 during the repair of a faulty installation in Aba in Abia State by suspected armed robbers.
The telecommunications maintenance workers, including the two policemen, went to carry out maintenance operation at a Base Transmission Station.
This is not the first time a possible take over of a telecoms firm will send panic among the members of staff.
In 2011, staff of Airtel Nigeria had a mass protest when about 3,000 of them were sacked following a takeover of the company’s operation by Barhti Airtel.
Barhti Communications, an Indian firm, acquired the telecoms company and its staff from Zain Communications.
The salaries of the Airtel staff were subsequently slashed by 60 per cent, with those said to be earning N76,000 cut down to N29,000.
The National Assembly expressed displeasure at the mass sack and later intervened.