…… Samuel Adelaja
Angry protesters looted alleged foreign-owned shops in Johannesburg in a new wave of violence © AFP / Michele Spatari
In the wake of ongoing horrendous xenophobic revolt in South Africa, some Africa and World leaders have expressed their utmost displeasure over what has been termed “a disgraceful and embarrassing moment” in the history of the Southern African country.
The resultant effect of this act by South African people have culminated in reciprocal attacks in Zimbabwe and Nigeria with locals attacking South African companies and looting of business outlets. Companies have been put on alert of being possible targets.
MTN Nigeria, a South African leading Telecommunication company in Nigeria, was not spared in the spring of counter uprising in the host country as the locals have indicated their readiness to attack their outlets where found. As at 4th of September, 2019, there were reported cases of possible attacks on MTN offices in both Lagos and Ibadan respectively. The tension is further heightened by the momentous gathering of protesters in various branches of the company. This unfortunate situation however forced the management of the company to close offices Nationwide.
As it is, the implication of this closure on the Nigerian economy cannot be over-emphasized. While many are totally against the happenings in South Africa, the reprisals by locals in Nigeria is even more worrisome most of the stores and offices torched are believed to be dominated in larger figures by Nigerian workers. An attack on these offices can be likened to attacks of Nigerians.
Although, The Nigeria economy which boasts of the largest market on the African continent, has laid the structure for the company and many more to strive, however, the many years of MTN activities in Nigeria has seen the organization spread her wings of effective coverage with unparalleled services to every corners of the country. The company has grown in leaps and bounds and is already the envy of other major industry players. Many of the offices run by the MTN Nigeria comprises to a larger percentage of Nigerian workers. Its activities has seen thousands of Nigerians now gainfully employed either as direct staffs, retailers or agents within and outside the countries. The motto “Everywhere You Go” can be attested to with their near perfect network coverage visibility in almost every areas of the country. Truth be told, MTN Nigeria has become a house hold name.
With the unfortunate current circumstances already threatening the peaceful operations of MTN Nigeria in the country, there is an urgent need for governmental engagement in order to ensure adequate security measures are put to use to forestall a situation that may hitherto snowball into a situation which falls beyond control. All security apparatuses have to be fully on ground to prevent criminally minded individuals from capitalising on the unfortunate and disgraceful South African acts to perpetuate their obnoxious intentions on hard working citizens on the country.
Finally, it is important that the government of Nigeria are seen to take proactive steps at cautioning the South Government of the current situation. This should not be limited to the pages of newspapers alone. This height of human intolerance by the people of South Africa has to be condemned in totality and governments of both countries have to meet to fashion out a lasting solution to this situation.