MTN, Africa’s leading mobile phone operator, has finally sealed the deal to acquire Visafone, the only surviving Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operator in Nigeria, owned by the banking magnate, Mr. Jim Ovia.
The acquisition of Visafone, the only surviving CDMA operator in Nigeria, by MTN, a GSM operator, marks the final death of CDMA operations in Africa’s largest economy.
Though, MTN is yet to make official announcement of the acquisition, but inside sources confirmed the development to Daily Trust reporter.
Contrary to the initial report about the deal that MTN is not taking along the purchase of the CDMA company with its liabilities, sources said the telecoms giant has acquired the staggering Visafone with all its properties, including its spectrum and liabilities.
Meanwhile, over 2,000 employees were disengaged with effect from January 5, 2016, and were paid three months’ salaries as severance package.
The only categories of employees said to be left were those in the personnel and transmission departments.
One of the affected workers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told our correspondent that the sacking came as a surprise to many of them.
“We learnt that the management would downsize, but we were told that that would be later in 2016. It is, however, surprising that they are sending majority of us away so early in the year. Though they paid three months’ severance benefits, but should it be this way?
“Some of us have put in five to 10 years of our lives in keeping the business going, but see what we are getting now. It is well.”
A senior management employee at Visafone confirmed the sacking, but was quick to refer media enquiries to MTN because he was not authorised to speak on the deal.