Home Big Story SECURITY THREAT | Buhari probes India tech deals by MTN, Ericsson, Huawei

SECURITY THREAT | Buhari probes India tech deals by MTN, Ericsson, Huawei

SECURITY THREAT | Buhari probes India tech deals by MTN, Ericsson, Huawei
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President Muhammadu Buhari has waded into alleged security threats posed to Nigeria following tech outsourcing deals with India by MTN, Ericsson and Huawei.

Technology Times has confirmed today that the President has ordered relevant government agencies to probe allegations that Nigeria faces grave security threats following outsourcing of local tech job to India by MTN Nigeria, the largest mobile phone in the country owned by MTN Group of South Africa; Ericsson, the Swedish equipment supplier and Huawei, the Chinese equipment supplier.

People conversant with situation in Aso Rock, the Nigerian seat of power in Abuja have told Technology Times under conditions of anonymity that the President ordered investigations into looming security threats, job losses and other allegations surrounding the outsourcing deals involving the three companies, following a petition last week by a telecoms professionals’ group.

PTECSSAN further tells President Buhari that, “several sites monitored by these indigenous engineers shall henceforth be watched from outside Nigeria by foreigners with dire security consequences as strategic operations shall be controlled by aliens in India. It is more worrisome considering the billions of dollars the company rolls out in profits and shipping out benefits the residual benefits out of Nigeria.”

A telecoms mast
A telecoms mast

In the petition to the President, the Private Telecommunications and Communications Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PTECSSAN), alleged that the Chinese equipment supplier operating locally as Huawei Technologies Nigeria Limited has allegedly concluded plans to relocate its Network Operating Centre (NOC) from Nigeria to India.

Huawei’s plans to relocate the NOC will lead to loss of jobs by thousands of local NOC Engineers that have successfully handled the management of the technology infrastructure and also pose grave security implications for Nigeria, the telecoms body tells President Buhari.

PTECSSAN further tells President Buhari that, “several sites monitored by these indigenous engineers shall henceforth be watched from outside Nigeria by foreigners with dire security consequences as strategic operations shall be controlled by aliens in India. It is more worrisome considering the billions of dollars the company rolls out in profits and shipping out benefits the residual benefits out of Nigeria.”

Huawei’s action “is preceded by that of MTN who on November 5, 2016, moved its strategic Network Operational Activities to India, a decision that appears to favour both companies (sic) profit maximization at the detriment of national security and decent work practices in Nigeria.”

PTECSSAN further tells President Buhari that, “several sites monitored by these indigenous engineers shall henceforth be watched from outside Nigeria by foreigners with dire security consequences as strategic operations shall be controlled by aliens in India. It is more worrisome considering the billions of dollars the company rolls out in profits and shipping out benefits the residual benefits out of Nigeria.”
PTECSSAN further tells President Buhari that, “several sites monitored by these indigenous engineers shall henceforth be watched from outside Nigeria by foreigners with dire security consequences as strategic operations shall be controlled by aliens in India. It is more worrisome considering the billions of dollars the company rolls out in profits and shipping out benefits the residual benefits out of Nigeria.”

In the case of Ericsson, the Swedish equipment supplier and managed services provider to MTN “had issued termination letters to its Nigerian NOC Engineers effective 5th December for off-shoring purposes in India as it claimed in a meeting held with the workers on 31st October, 2016 at 8am.”

The telecoms group tells Buhari that “these companies promote anti-labour practices ranging from casualization, discrimination, exceeding of expatriate quota by management, harassment, intimidation and none remittance (sic) of legitimate deductions such as tax, pension and housing. Most workers are without Tax Identification Numbers (TIN) despite deductions.”

According to the group, President Buhari must investigate Huawei for alleged expatriate quota breaches and similar multinationals operating in the country “as most of the high-paying positions in the company are occupied by Chinese citizens, when Nigerians equally possess the capacity and skills to undertake such responsibilities.”

PTECSSAN also alleged that Huawei “has higher percentage of foreigners taking up jobs which by law are expected to be manned by Nigerians who also possess the requisite skills and capacity. Sadly, against the law of the land, the population of Nigerians in the company especially in the higher and middle cadres ought to have been higher but the reverse is the case as there is increasing recruitment of foreigners to take up the jobs.”

Beyond the allegations against the three affected tech companies, PTECSSAN draws the Nigerian President to the implications of hosting NOC and other critical communication infrastructure outside the country.

“We, therefore, as a country must not allow foreigners to control and host sensitive information and Network operational infrastructure of Nigeria in foreign lands and managed by aliens. We owe Nigeria and its citizens this patriotic duty to safeguard the integrity of the nation and protect our sovereignty”, PTECSSAN petitioned the President.

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