The Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang, and the State Executive Council on Thursday directed the indigenes and residents of the state to commence the immediate boycott of the services of telecommunications giant, MTN.
The decision, taken during the SEC meeting, was in reaction to the decision of MTN to close its call centres in Plateau State.
The state government faulted the reason of insecurity cited for the closure of the call centres.
It said MTN was closing the call centres because it did not want to pay the 1,700 workers it employed in the state.
A statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information, Yiljap Abraham, said: “The Plateau State Executive Council met on Wednesday, August 1, 2012 presided over by Governor Jonah Jang.
“The Council among other issues noted with dismay the unconvincing reasons advanced by MTN for relocating its Call Centres from Jos. MTN alluded its action to security concerns as reported in some newspapers of July 31, 2012.
“The reasons advanced for the closure of the MTN Jos call centre smacks of a grand design to deceive unsuspecting members of the public about the real motives for such a quaintly decision. It seems more reasonable to presume that the insecurity hypothesis is being bandied about as an afterthought. It needs to be placed on record that the security challenges that befell Plateau State predated the setting up of the MTN Call Centre in Jos….
“Consequently the council resolved as follows:
1. Condemns the discriminatory remuneration and underpayment of the over 1,700 workers of the MTN Jos Call Centre, majority of whom are citizens of Plateau State in comparison to their colleagues in other call centres across the country
2. MTN is not the only service provider and the obvious option for Plateau citizens is to have rescinded to alternative GSM services. If the state is not good enough to house an MTN Call Centre, then its citizens do not necessarily have to patronize MTN as a service provider
3. The governor of Plateau State and all government officials will immediately stop the patronage of MTN GSM services. Government is also appealing to Plateau citizens at home and in tne Diaspora to discontinue patronizing MTN.”
The government promised to battle MTN on behalf of the affected workers.
A text message, circulating in the state already on the issue, reads: “MTN are relocating from Plateau because they don’t want to pay the right wages. Migrate from MTN to Aitel, Glo or Etisalat. A date has been fixed to shut down their (MTN) BTS in Jos. Please send to many.”