Terrorism forces MTN Jos call centre to close shop
TELECOMS| July 31, 2012, 8:07 p.m.
By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria
MTN Nigeria has announced the closure of its call centre in Jos as ongoing terrorist attacks in northern Nigeria take a terrific toll on the region.
The call centre is operated by CNSSL, an indigenous firm outsourced to operate the centre..
Akinwale Goodluck, MTN Corporate Services Executive, who made the announcement, explained that the call centre operator had to be shut its doors owing to the increasing spate of indiscriminate attacks.
“Our partner, CNSSL, the operators of our Jos Call Centre, have informed us of their decision to close down the centre over the escalating violence in Plateau State and the attendant risk posed to lives and property of CNSSL and its employees. Although this is highly regrettable, we are constrained to make alternative arrangements to provide customer support for our esteemed customers from other locations.”
The MTN Call Centre provided employment for over 650 Nigerians who are predominantly young indigenes of Jos and its environs. Goodluck informed that the initial plan by CNSSL, in agreement with MTN, was to grow the call centre to a staff strength of 2,200 before the persistent violence aborted the plan.
“MTN chose to open the call centre facilities in Jos with the hope of contributing to peace and harmony in the city by gainfully engaging the youth. It is sad that we are no longer in a position to do so, as our partners have had to close shop due to the prevailing situation in the area,” said Goodluck.
He added that the company would not rule out reviewing the decision in the future when the prevailing security situation in Jos and its environs changes.
Militants attacked two churches in north and central Nigeria on Sunday, spraying the congregation of one with bullets, killing several people, and blowing up a car in a suicide bombing at the other.
Attacks by the notorious Islamist group, Boko Haram, which says it is fighting to reinstate an Islamic caliphate in mostly Muslim northern Nigeria, has destroyed the economy of the region.
This follows its high profile strikes against churches on Christmas Day in December 2011 and on Christmas Eve in 2010.
Experts say the increasing anti-Christian attacks by the sect, which also often targets security forces and establishment figures, appear partly aimed at trying to ignite sectarian conflict in the country which is Africa’s most populous boasting of more than 160 million people, split roughly evenly between Christians and Muslims.
Although Nigeria’s Christian and Muslim communities mostly live in peace, periodic flareups of sectarian violence have killed hundreds since independence from Britain in 1960. Many of the recent attacks have targeted the volatile central city of Jos, long a Christian-Muslim flashpoint.
In December 2010, no fewer than 80 were killed in December 24 Christmas Eve bombings, including attacks on churches, around Jos. Boko Haram claims responsibility for the attacks which trigger deadly clashes between Muslim and Christian youths.
It was followed by another in November 2011 – At least 65 people are killed in the northeast city of Damaturu when Islamist insurgents bomb churches, mosques and police stations. Boko Haram claims responsibility.
December 2011 – Boko Haram claims responsibility for bomb attacks across Nigeria on Christmas Day, three of which targeted churches, including one near Abuja that killed at least 37 people and wounded 57. President Goodluck Jonathan declares state of emergency in mostly northern parts of the country.
January 5 – Gunmen open fire on church service in Nasarawa in northern Gombe state, killing six people and wounding 10. The attack follows a warning from Boko Haram published in local newspapers that Christians have three days to leave majority Muslim northern Nigeria or they will be killed.
January 6 – Gunmen open fire on Christian mourners at a hall in Mubi in Adamawa state, killing 18. The Christians had gathered to mourn the deaths of three people shot the previous day.
February 19 – Bomb explodes near church in the town of Suleja on the edge of the Nigerian capital Abuja, wounding five people.
February 26 – A suicide bomber drives a car packed with explosives into a church in Jos, killing two people and wounding 38 in an attack claimed by Boko Haram. Christian youths beat two Muslims to death in revenge.
March 11 – Another suspected suicide bomber attacks a Catholic Church in Jos, killing at least three people. Reprisal attacks against Muslims by Christian youths kill at least 10 people.
April 8 – A car bomb explodes on Easter Sunday near a church in the northern town of Kaduna, killing at least 36 people and badly wounding 13.
April 29 – Gunmen open fire and throw homemade bombs at a lecture theatre in the University of Kano being used for Christian worship. A church is also attacked in northeast Maiduguri. A total of 19 people are killed in the attacks, blamed by police on Boko Haram.
June 3 – Suicide bomber drives car full of explosives into church during Sunday service in Yelwa, on the outskirts of the northern city of Bauchi, killing at least 12 people. Boko Haram claims responsibility.
June 10 – Three gunmen spray bullets at the congregation of a church in Biu Town, in northeastern Borno state. In Jos, suicide bomber drives car to the entrance of the Christ Chosen Church and blows it up, witnesses say. Youths attack bystanders in retaliation, killing two, police say.
MORE TELECOMS NEWS
Tigo Business – Building trusted business partner relationships with clientsTigo Business has increased and empowered its account management team to improve its overall customer service experience. Read More
Danbatta seeks Reps’ cooperation on telecom regulationsThe Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has called for more cooperation and understanding of members of the House of Representatives, on regulatory functions of the commission. Read More
Orange completes acquisition of Airtel in Burkina FasoOrange has announced that, together with its subsidiary Orange Côte d’Ivoire, it has completed the acquisition of 100% of the mobile operator Airtel in Burkina Faso. Read More
MTN Ghana goes live with 4G LTE in grand styleThe plush iconic MTN House, home to MTN Ghana’s operations came to a standstill on Tuesday, as the country’s telecom leader officially unveiled its latest 4G LTE services across the length and breadth of Ghana. Read More
NCC to end telcos’ voluntary adherence to corporate governanceAfter more than one year of voluntary adherence by telcos to the Corporate Governance Code for the industry, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday started a journey that will lead to mandatory enforcement. Read More
Telkom Kenya appoints new CEOTelkom Kenya has announced the appointment of Aldo Mareuse as the Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors. Read More
N1.04tr NCC fine: MTN agrees on N330b staggered paymentMTN Nigeria and the Nigeria Communications Commission have reached an amicable settlement in the matter of the N1.04trillion fine imposed by the regulator in October last year. Read More
MTN Nigerian fine payment terms resolvedMTN has announced that the matter of its fine has been resolved with the Federal Government of Nigeria. Read More
NCC to review 2.6GHz spectrum auctionThe Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, says the Commission will soon meet with operators over the recent auction of 2.6GHz spectrum. Read More
Vodafone Ghana committed to use technology to address critical health issuesThe new Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Ghana, Yolanda Cuba, has reiterated Vodafone Ghana’s commitment to using technology to address critical health issues such as maternal and infant mortality in the country. Read More
FEATURED STORYGovernment should encourage youths in ICT early
Youths should be given more encouragement to develop their ICT skills, an 11-year-old app developer told Kokumo Goodie.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHIBM Opens First Cloud Data Centre in South Africa
IBM is opening a new IBM Cloud Data Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new cloud center is the result of a close collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom and is designed to support cloud adoption and customer demand across the continent.
COMPANY NEWSTigo, JI and GES equip teachers on child online protection initiative
Tigo, in partnership with J Initiative (JI), a youth focused non-governmental organisation in Ghana, have committed to protecting children online through policy advocacy, awareness creation, public education ...