Telecoms Regulator Allays Fears of Job Loss at Etisalat

Umar Danbatta,EVC NCC

THE telecommunications regulator in Nigeria, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has pledged to ensure new owners of embattled mobile network operator, Etisalat do not throw some of its staff into the labour market.
There are already fears that massive staff reduction may be the order of the day at the telecoms company as its new management battle to stabilise the ailing telecoms operator, and one key consideration it learnt was the reduction of its staff.
One of the senior managers who confided in TechnologyMirror said that she is worried that she may be thrown out of job soon when the new board gets to work.
But the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Dambatta has given the staff assurance about their job protection Commission was aware of the current challenge facing Etisalat and had waded into to save the jobs of the staff and interest of the 21 million subscribers.
Danbatta said at the 80th edition of Telecom Consumer Parliament, TCP held at Yar’ Adua Centre, Abuja that the Commission never anticipated the crisis would befall Etisalat, it was resolute in ensuring that it does not jeopardize the interest of the consumers.
Dambatta, who was represented by Mr. Sunday Dare, said: ‘‘This year 2017 is a year of the consumer. We never anticipated the challenge Etisalat is currently facing and because of the lives of the 21 million consumers at stake, NCC and the CBN came in to intervene.”
He added: ‘‘As I speak, Etisalat is still running, despite the proposed plan to change the name. In spite of the challenges, we have kept it running for the sake of the consumers. I can assure you that no single staff of Etisalat has been fired, we will make sure all of them are protected and the services not disrupted.’’
‘‘We are however grateful to consumers for responding positively to the telecommunications revolution. It is really the investment of the consumer through patronage of services that has encouraged build out and supported services provision. There is need to celebrate and recognize the consumer as the Boss of the industry and as Boss he who pays the piper dictates the tune.
‘‘The Commission has taken steps to ensure that the telecommunications sector remain vibrant and has carried out its regulatory functions to ensure that the companies operating in the industry are healthy.
Where necessary, NCC has made interventions to prevent disruptions to consumer experience,’’ he added.
Director, Consumer Care at Etisalat, Mr. Plato Syrimis in his remark at the event dismissed the fear of the staff and subscriber of Etisalat, saying that the change of name would have no impact on the operation and service delivery of the company, insisting that no consumer would lose his line.
‘‘Don’t expect any dare consequences because of the proposed change of name. The truth is that Etisalat has been operating from the Middle East shareholder until it pulled out of Nigeria two weeks ago.
‘‘We have been operating and still running. That will not affect our services. It is unfortunate that this happened but will not affect the market, which had been in operation for many years.
‘‘Airtel changed name six times and that did not make it lose its market that is what is expected to happen in Etisalat. It is only the brand name that is going to change, all our services , innovations, staff are not going to be lost. You are not going to wake up one day and lose your line.
‘‘What is happening for the past 24 hours is not going to affect Etsalat services, what happened two weeks ago is only going to affect the brand name, that is what is likely to change, if it does change.”
He explained further: “The name on the door will change but the services, innovation, customer focus, customer services will always be there.’’
By Isaiah Erhiawarien, West Africa


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