Dangote Group, one of Nigeria’s largest private firms has begun the steady cutback of employees as it has been hit with problems relating to the economic crisis in the country. The first set of 48 staff were disengaged last week consisting of 36 foreign staff and 12 Nigerians.
Though there was no official of the group willing to speak on the matter yet, Punch reports that the decision to sack the workers 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.
This was especially true in the case of the foreigners who were being paid in foreign exchange, as the Naira’s free fall in value, coupled with the unavailability of forex made it increasingly difficult for the company to pay the foreigners. The Nigerians were reportedly laid off due to disciplinary issues.
Probably what will be more disconcerting to workers of the company is the fact that this is not likely to be the end of the mass sack in the company. According to a letter signed by the CEO of the group, Aliko Dangote, there is a strong possibility that more will be sacked.
“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.”
The sack of employees of the company was not entirely unforeseen as the CEO, Aliko Dangote had, according to a recent index released by Bloomberg, lost $5.4 billion due to the depreciation of the Naira and the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN’s decision to ration dollars to stem huge capital outflows.