Saturday, 25 April 2015 09:20

Nigeria: Xenophobia - Reprisal Attacks Will Plunge Nigeria's Economy, Says MTN

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Nigerians Activists Protesting Maltreatment of Nigerians in South AfricaMTN Nigeria has cautioned against reprisal attacks on multinationals that have links with South Africa owing to the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa, saying any such occurrence would result in monumental loss and setback for the Nigerian economy.

Xenophobic attacks on foreigners in South Africa by some group of South Africans has led to loss of lives and property of Nigerians living in South Africa.

Corporate Services Executive, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Wale Goodluck, who joined other Nigerians in condemning the heinous act, stated the need to douse emotions in Nigeria in other to avoid reprisal attacks on some targeted investments like MTN, Shoprite, MultiChoice in Nigeria, which he said, would have far reaching negatively impact on the Nigerian economy, owing to the companies' huge contribution to the economy of Nigeria.

"MTN and other South Africa affiliated businesses in Nigeria, join hands in condemning the attacks on foreigners in South Africa and this has to stop," Goodluck said.

Addressing journalists in Lagos on the development, Goodluck said the MTN Group in South Africa has announced the release of financial support to people who are in transit camps in South Africa that were affected by the attacks, and has made sustainable plans to support the welfare of the affected persons.

He said MTN Nigeria sympathises with families of Nigerians who were victims of the unfortunate incident in South Africa and called for peace in Nigeria and in other affected countries.

The MTN's appeal for peace is coming on the heels of threat messages sent out by Nigerian students, to revenge the killing of some Nigerians and the destruction of their property in South Africa in the last two weeks, following the outbreak of xenophobia attacks in that country, where a group of South Africans are protesting the coexistence of foreigners with South Africans for fear of dominating the country.

The protesters launched attacks on foreigners, including Nigerians, resulting in loss of lives and properties. The students, had in a statement, threatened to destroy all South African investments in Nigeria, to avenge the killings in South Africa, and mentioned MTN, Shoprite and MultiChoice as their first targets. Reacting to the threat, Goodluck said MTN Nigeria alone, has over 5,000 Nigerians in its employment, with only 12 expatriates and over 500,000 support staff. He explained that MTN Nigeria currently services over 60 million subscribers on its network, and contributes immensely to the Nigerian Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He said: Should MTN and other targeted South African investments in Nigeria be destroyed as a reprisal attack, it would affect the Nigerian economy, and Nigerians in particular, Goodluck warned. He therefore called for peace, understanding and caution in a situation like this.

He however assured Nigerians that the federal government and the security agencies are doing everything possible to protect MTN investments and other South African investments in Nigeria.

- Thisday NGR

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