A report in local newspaper The Tide claims that Nigerian incumbent telco NITEL has sacked over 10,000 workers in the last twelve months as part of ongoing reforms at the firm, which has been privately owned since November last year. The troubled operator is also on its third CEO since privatisation. Steve Brookman, a British Telecoms (BT) consultant and the first CEO after the company was bought by the Transnational Corporation (TransCorp), withdrew his services when BT called off its technical partnership with the new owners. TransCorp’s operations director, Nicholas Okoye then served as CEO for two months before Mallam Ahmed Nahuce was appointed last month. Nahuce sent in a resignation letter barely a week into office, but continued in office after reaching an agreement with the board of TransCorp.
The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), which handled the sale of NITEL, sacked about 7,500 workers before the company was handed to TransCorp last year. Since then a further 4,000 staff have lost their jobs. NITEL now has around 2,500 employees. Some of those made redundant are taking the BPE and NITEL management to court over the way they have been treated. A case against the BPE regarding the loss of pensions following privatisation is due to be heard by the Federal Court in Abuja in the next week.