About 280 staff of telecommunications giant MTN Nigeria have been relieved of their jobs last Friday. 

The south African-owned firm had reportedly offered some staff who had spent at least 5 years at the company voluntary disengagement, which they accepted.

According to Punch, some of the sacked workers had been the company since its inception, with the company’s top brass believing their working knowledge to have become obsolete.

The newspaper reported: “MTN offered a package to workers who have stayed for five years and above a voluntary exit package because it felt that most of them are not able to contribute much to the development of the company going forward.

ALSO: MTN Reports Losses In 2016, Blames NCC & Exchange Rate

“If, for instance, you have kids, you can’t compare the knowledge you have about the mobile phone with what they can do about telecoms services; they are more dexterous; so, the company wants to hire younger people who can keep pace with evolving trends in the industry instead of retaining those whose knowledge is limited to what they knew 16 years ago.”

The Guardian also reported: “ICT was just coming up, so many people employed then were not that tech savvy, but since MTN has become a full-fledged ICT Company, the management decides to inject fresh tech savvy employees into the system. The plan, which will be unveiled soon will be to employ a new set of people, young and dynamic that will drive the new vision of the firm in earnest.”

MTN Nigeria offered to pay them three weeks’ total wages multiplied by the number of years they had spent in the firm, in addition to the balances in their Retirement Savings Accounts under the Contributory Pension Scheme.

According to the Guardian, all affected staff have been paid off, though there have been complains that the sum was not as generous as it could have been.