South African telecoms giant MTN shuts Nigeria strores

Wednesday September 4 2019

mtn

MTN has shut its offices in Nigeria following attacks on its employees in Lagos, Ibadan and Uyo sparked by violence against foreigners in South Africa. PHOTO | MIKE HUTCHINGS | REUTERS  

MOHAMMED MOMOH
By MOHAMMED MOMOH
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AFP
By AFP
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South African telecoms giant MTN has shut its offices in Nigeria following a protest over attacks on foreign-owned shops in South Africa.

"All MTN stores and service centre will therefore be closed as a precaution until further notice," MTN Nigeria's secretary, Uto Ukpanah said.

The announcement came on the heels of attacks on employees in Lagos, Ibadan and Uyo sparked by violence against foreigners in South Africa.

Hundred of protesters on Tuesday embarked on violence and looting of South African firms in several Nigerian states.

Ferdinand Nwonye, the spokesperson to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday said that Abuja was engaging relevant South African authorities to ensure measures were put in place to curtail the attacks on Nigerians.

“The Federal Government condemns the renewed attacks on foreign nationals and their businesses in South Africa which has led to the loss of lives and properties.

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“However, due to the tension created by the attacks, the Government of Nigeria wishes to advice Nigerians to avoid travelling to high risk and volatile areas until the situation is brought under control.”

Nigeria, he said, is committed to protecting the lives and properties of Nigerians in South Africa.

Security was ramped up around South African businesses across Nigeria on Wednesday following a spate of reprisal attacks, police said.

Other South African firm that suffered looting and vandalism is retail chain Shoprite.

On Monday and Tuesday, mobs descended on business hubs and townships in various parts of the South Africa, looting dozens of shops and torching trucks driven by foreigners in an outburst of anti-migrant anger.

Five people, most of them South Africans, have been killed and almost 300 arrested.

Foreigners in South Africa have been accused of taking jobs away from South Africans—nearly one South African worker in three is unemployed.

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