Global telecommunications solutions provider, Ericsson has disengaged about 160 permanent and outsourced workers in its Network Operating Centre in Nigeria.
To replace the disengaged workers, foreign workers have been recruited and knowledge transfer by Nigerian engineers to the new workers is ongoing in the company’s office in India.
PUNCH reports that the dismissal affected 55 full-time employees of the company and takes effect from Sunday, December 4, 2016.
The permanent workers’ disengagement letter signed by the Managing Director of the company, Johan Jemdahi reads:
“Please be informed that effective December 4, 2016, your position has been declared redundant. We thank you for all your past services to Ericsson. Further information about the redundancy benefits will be communicated to you before the actual termination date.”
Company sources reveal that some workers were laid off in July when the offshoring (the practice of a company in one country arranging for people in another country to do work for it) of jobs to India began.
They say the knowledge transfer had been going on since last year when some Indians were brought into the country to study the management of telecommunications infrastructure in the country.
Confirming the development, the Public Relations Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa, Ericsson, Toju Egbebi, said the move was part of the company’s global cost and efficiency programme to achieve a net annual cost savings of Swedish Krona 9bn, adding that the programme would continue till 2017.
According to her, the redundancy is being carried out across 180 countries where the company operates. She explained that on July 19, the company announced actions to further save costs as well as intensify reductions in cost of sales activities and adapt its operations to a weaker mobile broadband market.
Ericsson Nigeria has in the last two and half years, managed MTN network (involving the monitoring of MTN masts and networks in the country) majorly from its pool of local workers, some of who were former MTN employees, as well as other contracted workers.
The workers expressed fears that this would be a continuous trend in the telecommunications industry if not properly addressed by the government.