By Funmilola Ajala

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Imagine a scenario where you allow a fellow from some alien geography perch within your abode; offer him the best hospitality you can afford; and yet he puts up a covert gambit to mortgage your progenies’ collective destinies – while you still live!

That proverbial imagination denotes the realism of telecoms giant, MTN and its conclusion to strike a dagger into the hearts of close to ten thousand individuals.

Their crime? They are, of course, Nigerians!

This is an interestingly disturbing abnormality which is being played out in Nigeria, at the moment.

At first, many opined that the possibility of such musing is improbable – to simply summarise. But alas, the unthinkable stirs us all in the face now.
The recent decision of MTN to contract its Customer Care Centres across the federation to an Indian firm named ISON BPO is an exhibition of highest degree of disrespectability to – perhaps its most generous host community the world over – Nigeria, if one considers the deleterious implications of this ill-advised and ill-conceived act.

At the centre of this unfolding brouhaha is a pan-Nigerian firm, Communication Network Support Services Limited (CNSSL). The indigenous firm which boasts of about 6, 000 staff (mainly young Nigerian graduates) has been a major manager of the Customer Care contract for MTN in the last half a decade, with a nearly perfect records.

Although MTN argues that the need to maintain competitiveness in its operations informed the disengagement of CNSSL, yet it failed to register in public sphere in what aspect(s) the Nigerian outsourcing company was found wanting in fulfilling its contractual obligations to the South African telco.

With this development, Nigerians have embarked on revisitation of the catalogue of misdemeanours which have come to crystalise the comatose status of Nigeria/South Africa diplomatic relations, of late.

Again, the claim by MTN that ISON BPO (Indian) is preferred to CNSSL (Nigerian) due to the former’s so called international experience holds little water – if any. The sermon that the Indian company will, henceforth, be trusted with MTN Call Centres across Anglophone Africa is equally punctured and rendered null and void by the exclusion of South Africa from the list. The last time I checked, English language was the lingua franca in South Africa.

This is simply ridiculous!

The incontestable market value of Nigeria will always retain her pride as Africa’s leading economic hub, hence the envy of her peers (South Africa inclusive).

Therefore, any imported investor would need to contemplate more than once before romancing the dire consequences inherent in pulling the plug on Nigeria and her people.

All said and done, I’m not sure if the South Africans needed a tutorial to realise that Nigeria symbolises an unavoidable ‘foe’ that is far more strategic than a close ally.

To submit here, therefore, let’s remain watchful and hope sanity prevails. And sanity, it seems, will be for the proponents of this callous and inhumane subterfuge to keep it firmly in the realm of thought ONLY. Nigeria has endured enough pains and agony from South Africa and its economic scavengers; thus this latest attempt to further alienate Nigerians – even in their territory – must be resisted at all cost. Now is time to act.

Here, I rest my case (for now).

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