Xenophobia: Nigerian youths attack MTN office

Update: Cellphone provider MTN denied reports out of Nigeria on Thursday that its office in Abuja had to shut down after coming under attack because of xenophobic violence in South Africa.

“It is causing huge reputational damage,” MTN executive for group corporate affairs Chris Maroleng told News24.

He said there was peaceful protest action outside its Abuja office on Tuesday – not Wednesday, as reported – and a memorandum was handed over.

The only “disruption” was for about an hour when MTN staff could not access the building due to the protest outside, said Maroleng.

The Daily Sun newspaper was quoted on the website Naij.com as saying that more than 100 youths converged at the MTN premises, carrying placards with different inscriptions.

Based on this, News24 earlier reported that the MTN office immediately shut down its operations and suspended its service, but Maroleng said this information was false.

“Our business is fully operational,” said Maroleng.

Original article: MTN’s regional office in Abuja reportedly shut down its operations on Wednesday following attacks by irate youths presumably protesting over the on-going xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

Quoting the Daily Sun newspaper, Naij.com said a group of more than 100 youths converged at the MTN premises carrying placards with different inscriptions.

Apparently worried that more attacks could follow, the MTN office immediately shut down its operations, the report said.

MTN staff said services would be suspended until the xenophobic attacks faded away and stability returned to South Africa.

MTN Nigeria warned early this week that any attack on its facilities could force it to close shop, a development that could see at least 99% of its over 6 000 workforce in the country become jobless, a newswirengr.com report said.

This comes as Nigeria’s foreign ministry on Wednesday summoned South Africa’s High Commissioner over anti-immigrant violence.

According to a Reuters report, the ministry said the essence of the meeting was to register Nigeria’s protest over the on-going xenophobic attacks against fellow Africans in South Africa.

The ministry also called on authorities to quell the unrest and bring those involved to book.

Isolated counter-protests involving a few dozen people have occurred in Nigeria, an economy in which South African firms such as mobile phone giant MTN and supermarket chain Shoprite have large stakes, the report said.

UPDATE

Cellphone provider MTN denied reports out of Nigeria on Thursday that its office in Abuja had to shut down after coming under attack because of xenophobic violence in South Africa.

“It is causing huge reputational damage,” MTN executive for group corporate affairs Chris Maroleng told News24.

He said there was peaceful protest action outside its Abuja office on Tuesday – not Wednesday, as reported – and a memorandum was handed over.

The only “disruption” was for about an hour when MTN staff could not access the building due to the protest outside, said Maroleng.

The Daily Sun newspaper was quoted on the website Naij.com as saying that more than 100 youths converged at the MTN premises, carrying placards with different inscriptions.

Based on this, News24 earlier reported that the MTN office immediately shut down its operations and suspended its service, but Maroleng said this information was false.

“Our business is fully operational,” said Maroleng.

Source: News24

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Xenophobia: Nigerian youths attack MTN office