Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Dangote in Lokoja

I found out recently that the new Dangote Cement works near Lokoja (apparently the second biggest in the world) employees around 1000 Indian staff (300 white collar, 700 blue collar). Isn't this a little problematic in a country with unemployment and poverty statistics so high? Will similar statistics occur for all the other infrastructure projects ahead?


Almost Anonymous,  12:56 pm  

That's the problem - why Indian staffs? When will they start encouraging home-grown recruitment? Very frustrating thought ...

daf,  3:00 pm  

1000 indian staff! what the hell is the government thinking allowing shit like this.

Kola,  3:20 pm  

Second largest in the world....I have no idea what total workforce numbers will be but perhaps it will make 1000 Indians seem a negligible number? Maybe they need them for expertise short get it off the ground?

Fred 3:38 pm  

I can understand the knee-jerk reaction to this bit of news, but if it's a private company, who the hell cares who they hire?

And if it is a government-owned company, government should not be in the business of owning businesses.

Anil,  4:59 pm  

I assume you are talking about Obajana cement Plc. I dont know where you got your info from but its inaccurate. There are no Indian janitors, cleaners,gatemen etc there.

I am quite involved in this project. Most of the staff are actually Nigerians although some Indians are in the top tier at the moment, they are on a temporary contract and have been seconded from Indian companies to transfer their skills to Nigerian Engineers etc working on the plant. Why is this the case?

a)The Obajana Cement Plc is the first green field cement project in Nigeria. No other major cement company in Nigeria(ie WAPCO & Ashaka cement)has had any experience in building/managing a Greenfield plant & so Dangote Group had to look outwards for those who have worked with the technology.

b)Dangote Group is in a skills transfer partnership with Associated Cement Company of India & so most Indians are in Obajana to build the plant & transfer their skills to the Nigerian managers and then head back to ACC in India.

c)You can also read the interview by Devakumar Edwin(CEO of Obajana who incidentally is an Indian citizen that has worked for Dangote Group since 1992) on this link

Jeremy 5:09 pm  

Cool. Thanks for the clarification Anil. Skills transfer and short term contracts is definitely the way to go..

MsMak,  8:01 pm  

Erm, so can can we expect the price of cement in Naija to finally go DOWN now???

Anonymous,  12:53 pm  

but Anil, why should we believe what you say about the absence of blue collar workers at the C-factory? Call it an outdated phenomenon, please answer this: is the factory unionised? can the workers freely join a union?

I am sorry in the absence of a proper investigation, I refuse to believe all that you are saying. I hope there are journalists out there who can do the proper investigation into this issue.

I have also heard from 'reliable' source about the high numbers of Indians employeed for blue collar work.

If there are only a few indians at the top tier of managment, why are people around the area talking about the noticeable presence of Indians? Surely if there are only a few of them, their presence will not have caught the attention of the locals and other visitors.

All I know is someone is trying to hide something about the true facts. This is exactly why the Nigeria needs robust, investigative journalism. And it won't surprise me if Indians are employed for blue collar work. Nigerians afterall have been known to employ an English butler (in Nigeria) and a Thai house-keeper (who by the way is sort of in bond labour)with little or no English, Polish pedicurist (at beauty parlour in Abuja) over the teeming local population.

Ugo Okafor 5:38 pm  

We should not expect the price of cement to go down when everything else is going up.

Nigeria cannot expect to compete with the industrial world without a backbone of machine tool industries made locally.

India, Brazil, China all started with a local machine tool industry before reforming themselves to attract foreign investments.

Nigeria has put sentiments aside and identify regions that require the assistance that will enable them to take off in their respectable specialised fields.

For example heavy Industry should be coastal or close to the rivers Niger or Benue.

Agro should be all hiterland areas of Nigeria, Petrochem - Oil producing states or coastal states.

Cement, Slag-Cement, Building materials should be close to the raw materials deposits etc.

And finally a strong practical education policy where solving prblems or figuring out solutions to everyday problems will be the objectie rather than a worthless cerificate.

Anonymous,  4:23 pm  

Useless people!!!! is about time we all wake up to reality cos before an Indian man employ one black person, he would had employ thousands of India’s...... this is absolutely appalling.

Debo,  10:06 pm  

This post was made in 2007. this is 2010. the Indian skill transfer is yet to end. Nigeria, we hail thee.The only thing Dangote uses Nigerians for now is cleaners, "mai guards" and drivers.

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