The Government of India has moved to blacklist Nigeria’s telecoms operator, Globacom owned by Africa’s richest man, Mike Adenuga.
According to available documents and informed sources, the Government of India made the decision based on the failure of Globacom to settle the debt owed the expatriate staff of the company, whose contracts were not renewed at various times from 2015.
However, instead of settling the outstanding debt, the company has gone ahead to conduct further recruitment exercises in India, leading to the arrest and detention of some senior staff of the company in various Indian cities in December.
According to documents made available over the weekend, the Indian Government has directed its Mission in Nigeria to henceforth properly scrutinize any application for Indian visa by staff of Globacom.
The government has also vowed to punish any move on the part of Globacom to further recruit without meeting all the requirement of the law of the country.
In a memo by the Joint Secretary and Protector General of Emigrants in the Ministry of External Affairs, the Indian Government expressed concern over the development.
The memo, signed by M. C. Luther and copied to Globacom’s Director of Human Resources, Sangowawa Adewale, the Indian Government called for the settlement of the outstanding salaries of the employees.
It also said it had directed its Mission in Nigeria “to scrutinize closely” all visa applications by Globacom .
The memo reads: “I am constrained to point out that there are about 40 Indian employees of M/s. Globacom Limited whose dues are pending for settlement over last 16 months. Some of them have approached us requesting for taking up the matter with Globacom and have been regularly following up with us. It has been reported that Mr. Tony Ighalo and few other officials of M/s. Globacom are currently on visit to New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore for conducting further interviews for overseas recruitment to Globacom.
“You may be aware that for carrying out overseas recruitment, the Foreign Employer are required to get Demand Letter duly attested to by the nearest Indian Mission. This requirement is mandatory and any non-compliance of it is a violation of the provisions of Sections 10 and 24 of the Emigration Act, 1983, of India.
“Accordingly, the concerned Police authorities of New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore have been informed for taking appropriate action against visiting officials of M/s. Globacom and appropriate actions have been taken by the Police authorities.
“We are also requesting our Mission in Nigeria to scrutinize closely all visa applications of M/s. Globacom before the same is granted, especially for overseas recruitment from India.
“In view of the above, I would request you to please have the matter of pending dues for these 40 Indian employees settled at the earlier – as per list enclose. We look forward to an early response in the matter.”
Another letter from the Protector of Emigrants, Chennai, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, signed by Protector of Emigrants – II, G. Ravichandran, also addressed the issue.
Titled: “Illegal recruitment activities by M/s. Globacom of Nigeria in India,” the letter said in part: “In this connection, it is requested to keep activities of the representatives of M/s. Globacom under watch so that they may not indulge in recruitment activities and if they are found involved in such activities, necessary action may be taken against them as per prevailing law.”
Adenuga, according to Forbes, is worth about $3 billion.
The outstanding due of the staff has been put at about $1.5 million.
India Set To Blacklist Globacom Over Refusal To Pay Former Expatriate Staff