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There are fears that the ownership of MTN Nigeria may soon slip off the hands of South Africans to Indians if the recent pronouncements of the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu is anything to go by.
This is coming few weeks after it was exposed that Ericsson group had sacked over 300 Nigerians and exported their jobs to India following what was described as rising profile of India in technology and lower cost of running the business in Nigeria with Indians.
Speaking in Abuja during the inaugural press conference of the Computer-Based Test, (CBT) of the Computer Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (CPAN), the minister said not less than 75 percent ownership of MTN has been acquired by Indians.
While explaining issues on the theme; ‘the impact of ICT in CBT system of examination,’ he challenged Nigerian IT investors, saying the country does not want foreigners to take away technological opportunities meant for Nigerians.
The Minister represented by Mr. Adeyemi Adebayo, assistant director, Information Communication and Technology, (ICT) in the Ministry revealed that “Indians are gradually buying over MTN in Nigeria now and one of the bad things about this development is that Indians now have the capacity to administer what MTN does by Physically employing Nigerians.
According to him, “They want the capacity to do that from their country and if we in Nigeria allow all these opportunities to go it will not speak well.
“Indians have now taking over not less than 75 percent of MTN and the control of MTN is not from Indian not even from Nigeria and if your association is not taken over this CBT may be Indians will come and take over CBT.
“You people are doing a great work. Government does not want people from other countries to come and take away our technology. I believe that if we have associations like CPAN, they can regroup from the telecom companies they can take back what Indians have taking away from Nigeria.
“MTN Nigeria is actually a Nigerian company, they came from South Africa but who are the people doing the work, are they not Nigerians?”
Onu, who decried the inability of Nigerians to grow in the business of technology productions and applications said “Nigeria has not adequately exploited the potentials of the Information Communication and Technology, (ICT) hence weakening the economy”.