Lagos Assembly summons Airtel over alleged sack of Nigerians


The Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday summoned the management of Airtel, a telecommunication company, to appear before it on October 11 to explain the alleged sack of about 1,000 Nigerians and their replacement with foreigners.

The lawmakers made the call during their plenary session after Lanre Oshun, (ACN - Lagos Mainland II) had under a matter of urgent public importance, called the attention of the House to the mass sack.

Oshun said that about 1,000 Nigerians were sacked and replaced with Indian nationals who were invited to the country. He said that the House should investigate the criteria used for the downsizing and recruitment.

The lawmaker said that the Indians, who replaced the Nigerians, were placed on higher salaries and said there was a need to question why Nigerians were being downgraded.

The lawmakers, while debating the issue, raised concerns about consumer protection and violation of workers rights, which they argued, foreign companies did not adhere to when dealing with Nigerian employees.

They stressed the need for the Nigerian Communications Commission to regulate the activities of the telecommunication industry to ensure that the rights of Nigerian workers were not trampled.

The lawmakers resolved to invite the company because it was operating in Lagos and residents of the state were involved.

Ayinla Yusuf (ACN - Mushin I), who said he had worked as a cleaner in the UK, argued that immigration rules in other countries did not make it easy for other nationals to take jobs of their citizens. “Do not let us sell our birthright in Nigeria,” Yusuf said. Rotimi Olowo (ACN-Somolu I) said it was wrong to allow Nigerians play second fiddle in their own country.

He stressed the need for both the federal government and the Nigerian Immigration Service to ensure Nigerians got fair treatment in recruitment agreements. Olowo stressed the need to look at the number of Nigerians who were employed in the company.

The speaker, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, ruled that there was a need for the Assembly to invite the company on “a fact finding mission.” He ruled, after a unanimous vote, that the company should appear before the Assembly on October 11.