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Nigeria: Telecommunications giant’s debt could spark diplomatic row as tensions rise over unpaid employees

A debt to ex-employees of telecommunication giant Globacom could raise diplomatic tensions according to News Wire Nigeria’s report. The article alleges that Globacom cheated about 40 Indian ex-Globacom personnel of their wages and entitlements, and has spent over a half-decade of international shenanigans and intrigues to avoid paying them including dodging the Nigerian court system amongst many other things. Five years later, those entitlements are still being owed despite several parleys between the ex-staff and the company. On at least one occasion as far back as 2016, after the ex-employees got the Indian High Commission, Abuja involved in the matter, official communication from Globacom’s Head of HR came in, promising that payment was being processed and they would receive their entitlements shortly.

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre invited Globacom to respond to the allegations. It did not.

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Company non-response
28 July 2020

Globacom did not respond

Globacom did not respond

28 July 2020

Nigeria: Tension rise over unpaid entitlements to Indian workers 4 years on

Author: David Hundeyin, News Wire Nigeria

‘The debt could spark a diplomatic row: Inside Indian workers’ 4-Year battle for their entitlements with Globacom’ 17 June 2020

For decades, there has been a mutually beneficial relationship between India and Nigeria in terms of providing highly skilled manpower to build businesses at a significantly reduced cost, relative to what it would take to bring a European or an American to Nigeria. Nigerian FMCGs, building contractors, telecom firms and professional consultancies have long looked eastward to the world’s largest democracy for skilled personnel who are relatively affordable and can absorb the inconveniences of living in a developing country.

…Backing from this kind of wealth makes it near-impossible to hold his businesses to account if they act in bad faith, but that is exactly what 40 Indian nationals who used to be employed as expatriate staff at Globacom are trying to do. Led by Alex James Murikan, an entrepreneur in Chennai, India, who worked as a General Manager at Globacom between 2010 and 2015, this group of employees is doing everything they can to draw attention to what they say is Adenuga’s refusal to authorise payment of their wages and accumulated paid leave entitlements before they were laid off on October 23, 2015. Having worked at Glo typically for 5 to 8 years, their contracts were not renewed in 2015, and they returned to India having received letters stating that they would be paid all that they were due.

…Not even a chillingly worded letter from a nuclear armed government was enough to convince Glo to pay up however, and as Alex and several sources confirmed, Glo continued to plan its twice-yearly recruitment visit to India by senior HR officials. According to documents I sighted, one Mr. Tony Ighalo and another Glo employee simply identified as Mr. Donnie arrived in Delhi, India on December 17, 2016, which our little band of outlaws got wind of. They immediately notified the Indian Ministry of Internal Affairs, which promptly dispatched a letter to Delhi police instructing them to arrest the Globacom officials on charges of Cheating and Violating immigration rules by recruiting Indians without a valid license.

Read the full post here