Recent media reports that the prevailing recession in the Nigerian economy had forced the Dangote Group of Companies to disengage 36 of its expatriate staff and 12 Nigerian workers has been described as the handiwork of mischief makers.
In a telephone chat Monday, its Head of Corporate Affairs, Mr Tony Chiejina told dozilla.com.ng in Lagos that staff rationalization or job cuts were a universal phenomenon and not peculiar to Nigeria or the Dangote Group. “Anyone playing that up is only indulging in mischief making,” he added.
Earlier, Chiejina had explained that the 36 expatriates were disengaged because of job overlap.
According to him, the 12 Nigerians that were affected were in the procurement department whose services were now redundant due to growth in the company.
He affirmed that in spite of the present recession, the Dangote group has been expanding its operations into oil and gas, rice and diary projects, fertiliser and petrochemicals, among others, adding that the expansion would create more employments in the company.
Earlier in the day, reports quoted a letter signed by Chairman of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote in an effort to explain the reasons for the job cuts.
The letter in which Dangote lamented the challenges in the Nigerian economy and especially the scarcity of foreign exchange read:
“This year has been a very challenging year for us as a business. The unavailability of foreign exchange coupled with an unprecedented hike in the exchange rate has resulted in increased costs across the organization.”
“This called for a proper review and adjustment of our costs across board to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in the deployment of our factors of production in a bid to eliminate redundancies that we know exist, which resulted in some tough decisions, which means losing staff, including some of our colleagues.
“On Friday, October 14, 2016, we began the process of staff cutbacks as it is imperative to review our human capital deployment for the required cutbacks that would ensure efficiency and eliminate redundancies in the allocation of human resources.
“This first phase of this exercise involved the cutback of 36 expatriate staff across the Dangote Cement Plc and Dangote Industries Limited, and 12 local staff members in Dangote Industries Limited.”