In a major job cut that affected about 15 percent of MTN’s entire Nigerian workforce, the South African telecoms firm, recently sacked 280 of its employees in Nigeria.

Those affected, according to sources include some 200 permanent employees and about 80 contract staff across various cadres, ranging from new graduates to senior managers.

Many of those sacked are said to have spent up to 15 years with the company having joined MTN as it opened its business inNigeria in 2001.

The affected workers according to the sources were given a dismal severance of 75 percent of their gross monthly income multiplied by the number of years with the company.

“Given that the company is about 16 years old in Nigeria, the severance package brought pain and discontent among the affected staff.

“With the payoff structure, senior managers with 15 years of service were left with about N15 million. Most of the staff got less than N5 million,” one source said.

But a source familiar with the latest downsizing revealed that 200 of those affected had earlier agreed to leave the company voluntarily, adding that the sackings were as a result of “the changing dynamics of the telecoms industry in recent times”.

The source said the company introduced the voluntary severance scheme, (VSS), to provide a window for one week in April, for persons who have served in MTN for five years and above to take up.

Those who decided to leave under the VSS were to be paid the equivalent of their three weeks gross salary for every year they worked with MTN.

“What it means is that if one worked in MTN for five years, one would be paid three weeks of their gross salaries times five,” the source said.

Eventually, all 280 staff were disengaged under the VSS and paid their benefits, the source added.
It will be recalled that MTN Nigeria recorded nearly $1 billion in profit in 2016, but the telecoms firm was heavily fined by theNigerian government for failing to disconnect 5.2 million unregistered subscribers.

The spokesperson for the company, Funso Aina, could not be reached for comments on Monday.