It was probably not the way many of the staff of Continental Broadcasting Services Limited envisioned their week will pan out as the company was rocked with the announcement of the sack of 145 of its staff at once. Since then, several reactions have come in, with most criticizing the company for the move. The criticism becomes even more direct as the company is reportedly owned by Chief Bola Tinubu, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), whose party is currently in power in the country.
However, in a bid to help Nigerians understand the reason for the action, the Board of the company released a statement on Friday. According to NAN, the statement summarily blames the closure of one of the 4 arms of the company, TVC News Africa, as being responsible for the mass sack.
“We wish to make clear that our core channels consisting of TVC News Nigeria, TVC Entertainment and Radio Continental, will now become the main focus of our business going forward, where we will deliver high quality news and entertainment programs to our audiences and advertisers across Nigeria and beyond. The winding down of TVC News Africa will allow us to concentrate on these key areas of our business” NAN quotes the statement as saying.
In order to provide a sort of soft landing to the blow, the statement announced that the company approved a ‘generous severance package and a program of assistance to enable them seek new employment’. This details of the so-called package are unknown and given the nature of Nigerian companies to disengagement issues, it can mean just about anything.
With the current economic situation in the country, many will feel that CBS is not telling the whole truth as a profitable venture is unlikely to be shut down. Therefore, while CBS will continue to claim that the move was a strategic one to better position the company, others will say it is yet another example of the misery caused Nigerians by the owner’s political party. Whichever is the case, the fact remains that there are 145 more unemployed people with several more dependents who do not know where next to turn.