The current recession rocking the Nigerian economy has hit one of the biggest employers of labour in the country outside of the government as the Dangote Group, owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has fired 48 members of staff.
Those sacked consist 36 expatriate and 12 Nigerian workers from the group’s headquarters and one of the subsidiaries, Dangote Cement Plc.
Though no official of the group was ready to speak on the matter on Sunday, but it was gathered that the decision to sack the workers was not unconnected with the economic recession in the country.
It was further gathered that the huge amounts in foreign currencies being paid to the expatriate workers had become a burden on Dangote due to the steady depreciation in the value of the naira and the difficulties of raising enough dollars.
Consequently, the industrialist, according to sources, decided to replace the expatriates with Nigerians, who have acquired the requisite experience on the job, as paying them in naira will be less problematic.
For the affected Nigerians, it was gathered that most of them had disciplinary issues, which made it easy for the group to do away with their services.
Group Head, Corporate Communications, Dangote Group, Tony Chiejina, declined to speak on the development.
However, in a letter signed by the President/Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, dated Thursday, October 20, 2016, the firm said it was constrained to take the “tough” decision as economic factors had affected the cost of production.
The letter, which was titled: ‘Recent Retirement Exercise’, however, appreciated those affected for their contributions to the growth of the group.