In a remarkable gesture of recognition and gratitude, Dangote Industries Limited, Nigeria’s most valuable brand and Africa’s most admired brand, yesterday honoured 160 staff for their long service, loyalty, commitment and vital contributions to the growth of the Pan-African conglomerate.
At a dinner held in Lekki, Lagos, elated staff ranging from the Group Managing Director, Mr. Olakunle Alake, to drivers and security personnel were feted like royalty for their loyalty to an organisation, which was recently ranked as the best indigenous company to work in Nigeria according to the Jobberman 2019 Report.
The celebrated staff, who had dedicated their time, energy, loyalty and skills to one of Nigeria’s largest indigenous companies, were each given a certificate of recognition, an award plaque, a financial reward, and a thunderous round applause from the staff, family members and friends of the awardees.
Out of the 160 awardees and in five categories, 29 staff were celebrated for between 10 and 14 years of service; 85 were rewarded for between 15 and 19 years of service; another 29 were feted for between 20 and 24 years of loyal service; 13 were applauded for dedicated service of between 25 and 29 years; while four staff were also honoured for their service from 30 years and above.
Remarkably, 12 staff who had passed on while in active duty to DIL, were eulogised and post-humous awards were given to their spouses for their dedicated service ranging from 10 to 39 years.
The Group Executive Director, Logistics and Distribution, Dangote Industries Limited, Alhaji Abdu Dantata, emerged the highest living awardee for his 36 years of service, while the Group Managing Director, Mr. Olakunle Alake, who gave the welcome remarks, was given an outstanding ovation for his 29 years of loyalty in service to the organisation.
In his keynote address, the President/CE of Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote GCON, commended all the awardees for their loyalty, commitment and dedicated service over the years; all of which had contributed to elevate the company from a trading concern founded in 1981 to one of the largest manufacturing conglomerates in Africa today, with a household name in Nigeria and a global brand to boot.
The elated President, who wore a look of calm satisfaction at the incredible growth of the organisation to a multi-billion-dollar status, noted that the staff, especially the awardees, were crucial part of the global success story which Dangote Industries has become today.
According to him, “I want to say a very big thank you to all of us here tonight. Indeed, loyalty is royalty and the successful growth of our company is a direct result of your excellent service. Your loyalty upholds our core principles and our continuous growth is based on a culture of resilience and loyalty.
“Today, we celebrate your individual and collective successes and our breakthrough was due to your investment of many years of loyal service. I encourage you to remain dedicated and committed. We deeply appreciate you and your efforts. Thank you very much”, Dangote added.
The billionaire businessman, who personally presented the awards to all the awardees that have served DIL for 25 years and more and to the families of all the post-humous awardees, was given a surprise gift as a token of appreciation at the event anchored by the Group Chief Human Resources Officer, Mr. Usen Udoh and an organising committee.
Dangote, flanked by his three daughters, Halima, Fatima, and Mariya; Alhaji Abdu Dantata and the GMD, Mr. Olakunle Alake, was given a framed picture of himself with the names of all the 160 awardees embedded; to rapturous applause and standing ovation by all the attendees at the event in appreciation of a man who has consistently broken boundaries in entrepreneurship, philanthropy and staff welfare in Nigeria and beyond.
In response, the awardees, some of who spoke in short video clips, were full of praise and prayers for Aliko Dangote and proud to have served the organisation for so long. Their overall gratitude at the award, gift and honour was aptly captured by a staff in the security department, Mr. Samanja Umaru, who was rewarded for his 20 years of service to the company. Samanja, who effusively narrated how Dangote has transformed his life and family, pledged his undying loyalty to the oganisation which has given him so much.
According to Samanja, “Dangote is a blessed man and Dangote (DIL) is a good company. I began working with Dangote way back in 1981 at the warehouse where we were paid N10 daily. God bless Alhaji Dangote. He carries everybody along, whether Hausa, Yoruba, Ibo, anyone. Alhaji Dangote changed my life. He is a blessed man”.