The current economic crisis rocking the country has hit one of the biggest employers of labour in the country outside of the government as the Dangote Group, belonging to Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has fired 48 members of staff, Punch reports.
It was gathered that those sacked were made up of 36 expatriate and 12 Nigerian workers from the group’s headquarters and one of the subsidiaries, Dangote Cement Plc.
A source said the sack was not unconnected with the current high cost of running business in the country occasioned by the unavailability of foreign exchange and the unprecedented hike in the naira to dollar exchange rate.
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, has 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.
The Group Head, Corporate Communications, Dangote Group, Tony Chiejina, declined to speak on the issue when contacted.
However, in a letter signed by the President/Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, dated Thursday, October 20, 2016,the firm stated that it was constrained to take the “tough” decision as economic factors had affected the cost of production.
This is happening few months dropped off the list of the 100 richest people in the world according to News24.
Dangote was the 51st richest man in the world as at March 2016, but he had dropped to 101 as at the start of business on Monday.