MTN Group Limited
MTN's Group Chief Executive, Rob Shutter

MTN Nigeria has announced that all its stores and centres would be closed across Nigeria after its facilities, customers and some stakeholders were attacked in three states yesterday, September 3, 2019. MTN, alongside Shoprite was a subject of reprisal attack after the resurgence of Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and their properties in South Africa. 

Though the parent companies of MTN Nigeria and Shoprite are based in South Africa, the Nigerian subsidiary of the telecommunication company has a huge presence in Nigeria and generates a substantial amount of its revenue from the countryHowever, some Nigerians protested the attack on Nigerians in South Africa by damaging some outlets of MTN and Shoprite because of the link they have with South Africa.  

Before the attack on MTN centres and facilities, the company had condemned the attack on Nigerians in South Africa, stating that the telecoms company was against bigotry and discrimination. It also condemned the hate, prejudice, and the xenophobia going on in South Africa. 

[READ MORE: Nigerians invade Shoprite, MTN office shut over xenophobic attacks]

Fredi Moolman, MTN Nigeria’s Chief Executive Officer, said Everyone has the right to a world where their rights and freedoms are respected – the right to live and earn a living, freely, safely, and protected by the law. However, his statement did little to appease those who eventually went to attack the companies’ facilities and centres in Lagos, Ibadan and Uyo. 

In a statement sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and seen by Nairametrics, MTN Nigeria disclosed that, Over the last day (yesterday), our facilities, customers and some of our stakeholders have been the subject of attacks in retaliation for the ongoing xenophobia situation in South Africa. We have confirmed reports of attacks in Lagos, Ibadan and Uyo.” 

MTN Nigeria centres closed: The network provider also stated that it would close all its stores and service centres to protect its customers, staff, and partners. 

“While we remain committed to providing uninterrupted services, the safety and security of our customers, staff and partners is our primary concern. All MTN stores and service centres will, therefore, be closed as a precaution until further notice. 

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“MTN condemns any acts of violence, prejudice and xenophobia and remains absolutely committed to ensuring a peaceful, harmonious and respectful relationship with all communities in Nigeria and across Africa. 

“We are engaging all relevant authorities in this regard and urge them to act swiftly to reduce tensions both in South Africa and Nigeria. We will provide further updates as and when possible.” 

[READ ALSO: A look at the negative economic impacts of South Africa’s xenophobia]

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