Telecommunications company Ericsson Nigeria plans to lay off several of its Nigerian employees and outsource the work to India by the end of the month.
According to Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, an ICT news outlet, the affected workers are working in the Network Operating Centre and have allegedly been tasked with handling the “knowledge transfer” to the new Indian hires who will replace them.
The same news source revealed that Ericsson Nigeria similarly sacked workers in July.
The reason for the sacking is to reduce costs of managing its services. According to Ericsson, the company is engaging in similar practices around the world, not just in Nigeria.
A source disclosed to SaharaReporters that Ericsson Nigerian workers have regularly been treated unfairly by the company. He explained that Nigerian workers at the Network Operating Centre have been working over time without compensation and get paid less than their foreign contractor counterparts.
“An average contract Nigeria personnel working in the Network Operating Centre is paid between N78,000 to N200,000 while a foreign contractor earns between N1m to N2m or more,” the source told SaharaReporters.
Discrimination towards Nigerian workers and favoritism towards foreign workers appears to be a trend with technology companies operating in the country. Just last week, a SaharaReporters investigation revealed that the Chinese-owned Huawei Technologies Company Limited has been cheating the expatriate quota by employing more foreign workers than permitted by law.
Such practices not only put Nigerians out of work, but prevent the Nigerian government from generating tax revenue. In the case of Ericsson, work that would normally be done by Nigerians in Nigeria will now be conducted in India, meaning taxes will go to the Indian government rather than the Nigerian government.
The source who spoke to our correspondent explained that the government should enforce its labor laws more strictly to prevent foreign companies from taking advantage of Nigeria and its workforce, especially in today’s troubled economic climate.