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Dangote honors 160 Staff at Long Service Award Ceremony

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Eulogizes and presents post-humous award to ex-employees

LAGOS, Nigeria, November 29, 2019- Dangote Industries Limited  recently presented 160 employees with long service award in recognition of their commitment, loyalty, exceptional service and invaluable contribution to the growth of Africa’s most admired brand over a period of 10 to 30 years and above. Post-humous awards were also given to ex-employees who lost their lives during their time of service at the organization.

At the Dangote Long Service Award, hosted by the Group Managing Director, Dangote Industries Limited Mr. Olakunle Alake, celebrated members of staff were each given a certificate of recognition, an award plaque, financial reward and ovation from other members of staff, family members and friends of the awardees.

During the ceremony, 29 staff were awarded with 10 – 14 years’ of service awards; 85 employees  with 15 – 19 years’ of service; 29 employees with 20 – 24 years’ of service; 13 employees with 25 – 29 years’ of service and 4 employees were also honored with 30 years’ of service awards.

Remarkably, 12 staff who had passed on while in active duty to DIL, were eulogized and post-humous awards were given to their families 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 organization.

In his keynote address, the Group President/CE of Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote, 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. He noted that employees, 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.

 Africa’s wealthiest and foremost philanthropist, 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 likewise presented with a surprise gift of a framed picture of himself with the names of all the 160 awardees embedded by the organizing committee led by the Group Managing Director, Mr. Olakunle Alake.

Their overall gratitude at the award, gift and honor 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 organization which has given him so much.

Also Read: The Rockefeller Foundation Appoints Two African Female Leaders to Board of Trustees

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”

Dangote Group

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Invest In 2020: Why Investing Should Be A Part Of Your Financial Goals

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(Image credit: Mbulelo Mpofana)

At the start of each year many of us take the time out for the important task of goal setting for the year. A general tip is remembering that our quality of life is not normally determined by knocking off one huge goal in a year; but by making steady progress on small, achievable goals over a long period of time.  Our ambitions often include financial goals, given the impact the state of our finances has on our day to day living standards.

Common financial goals include things like:

  • Becoming debt free;
  • Improving credit score;
  • Create and stick to a budget; and
  • Saving.

All these goals are fantastic and can lead to a better life by increasing your disposable income and funds available for emergencies or goals, but we’d like to challenge you to include one other powerful financial goal this year-INVESTING!

Why Invest? Investing is important for several reasons, most important of which is that it builds real wealth. This is mainly due to two factors: the first being because the returns you make on your investments commonly exceeds the rate of inflation over the long term.A former American president Ronald Regan once said, “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hit man.”

Inflation erodes the value of one’s earnings and savings over time; when your rate of return is higher than inflation it not only protects the value of your money but makes you better off financially. Added to this is the powerful effect of compound growth.

Compound growth refers to when one earns addition returns from reinvesting your prior returns i.e. making more money off the money your earned from your investments. Over the long-term compound earnings significantly increase the rate at which you can grow your asset base.

At this point I’d just add that if you have high interest rate debt, it is generally advisable to prioritize settling those debts as interest rates can be higher than the return one could earn on investments – this is usually the case, but specific circumstances need to be taken into account.

According to Old Mutual’s Long-Term Perspectives, investing in shares as an asset class has proven to be the best way to create wealth over time, as equities have consistently been amongst the best performing asset classes. Investing in equities remains the best way to build wealth and importantly ensure one reaches retirement with enough money. For example, 1 dollar invested in Berkshire Hathaway when Warren Buffett became CEO, would be worth around 7,000 dollars about 50 years later. Investing, and compounding, really are powerful when done correctly.

Also Read: Interview with James Lawson, Founder, Intergreatme; A RegTech Company Helping You Create Your Own Digital Identity

The main reasons people hold on to cash rather than investing in shares is the fear of losing money. This is also a key reason people stay away from investing in individual shares. Credible allegations of fraud and dishonesty by management is one of the main causes of severe irrecoverable losses in company share prices. There are many recent cases on the JSE like Steinhoff, EOH and Tongaat Hullett.

Even where a company recovers, when one factors in the value of time and opportunity cost it becomes clear that investors still lost out. Investsure’s investment insurance product protects investors from exactly these types of losses; enabling investors to transfer this hard to assess investment risk to a trusted insurer.

So there is a way for you to benefit from investing in shares without having to worry about suffering large losses due to fraud committed by management.

Good luck with your New Year’s resolutions this year and remember – Invest Safely!

By Mbulelo Mpofana, Co-Founder of Investure

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10 Years of Impact: Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme To Benefit More Entrepreneurs Across Africa

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Tony Elumelu Foundation Alumni (Credit: The Tony Elumelu Foundation)

Lagos, Nigeria: 27-01-2020 – On the heels of the tenth anniversary of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the private-sector-led philanthropy focused on empowering African entrepreneurs has enhanced its flagship Entrepreneurship Programme to empower more entrepreneurs across the continent.  

These enhancements, which took effect from January 1, 2020—the launch of the 6th cycle of the Programme—will achieve the Foundation’s mandate to transform the African continent through entrepreneurship.

Most prominent among the enhancements are the new dates in the Programme cycle, its emphasis on providing thousands of entrepreneurs with business training, and its focus on leveraging technology to optimise the application and selection process as well as personalise the journey of each applicant in the Programme tailored to their knowledge and business stage.
 
The Programme cycle has been updated to place more emphasis on getting more entrepreneurs through the business training. Hence, the announcement of the finalists, who will ultimately be inducted into the TEF Alumni network, will no longer be held on March 22 but will be made at the TEF Forum – the largest entrepreneurship conference in Africa.

Also Read: Building Sustainable and Profitable Enterprises: An Interview with David Owumi, Founder of VisionCTRL Africa

Maximising the value derived from the Programme, applicants will now receive instant feedback on their progress to the next stage of the Programme, following their applications. Shortlisted applicants will receive business training tailored to their business stage and for those who move to the next stage mentorship and finally the top performing entrepreneurs from each country will proceed to the business pitching competition, which will determine the finalists to receive seed capital and an induction into the Foundation’s fast-growing alumni network across 54 African countries.

The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is the $100million commitment by investor and philanthropist, Tony O. Elumelu, CON through his investment company, Heirs Holdings. The Programme has become a beacon of hope for African entrepreneurs, currently empowering 9,631 beneficiaries across 54 African countries with training, mentorship, seed funding and exclusive access to global opportunities as well as a strong entrepreneurial community. 

TEF Alumni such as Ugandan Kwabena Danso who manufactures bicycles and its accessories from bamboo is one of the thousands of beneficiaries whose business has expanded beyond the shores of Africa to a global market, and is one of the success stories and impact recorded by the Programme’s innovative approach to the sustainable development of Africa. Others include Mohammed Dhauoafi from Tunisia, founder of Cure, a  3D printed, biosynthetic prosthesis manufacturing company and Princess Adeyinka Tekenah from Nigeria whose coffee making business has been dubbed Africa’s Starbucks by The Financial Times.

The application for the 2020 cohort of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is open till March 1, 2020 on TEFConnect.com.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation

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Conflict In Family Business

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Tsitsi Mutendi, Family Business Expert

Conflict is a normal occurrence in everyday life. Although many assume that conflict is harmful, not all conflict is negative. Some conflict is healthy and ushers in necessary adjustments to process and operations. In a family and a family business, there are various types of conflicts. Being able to identify conflict and managing it appropriately is essential for the sustainability of the family and of the family business.

Here are some examples of conflict that may be found within the family and the family business:

Sibling Conflict: Siblings are natural friends and equally so, can become natural rivals. In most cases of sibling conflict, the conflict arises from sibling rivalry. Some Causes of sibling rivalry are:

  • Competing for parent’s attention and affection.
  • Seeking for parent approval.
  • Different priorities within the family or business context.
  • Competing against each other.

Sibling conflict, unless resolved, can cause problems in their ability to work together towards a common good. At times competitiveness can become toxic if it is against each other: a good example is within the family business if siblings have to work together but take their competitiveness against each other to work. Without clear boundaries, they may cause other employees to take sides or even give conflicting instructions or policies that then effectively ruin the everyday operations of the business.

To manage sibling conflicts, the nature of the conflict must be identified, and methods of resolving or managing the conflict put in place so that the relationship of the siblings is preserved and more so that the operations of the family business is not disturbed. One such method to assist with such conflicts is a family business constitution. It may not directly solve the conflict, but it will give guidelines as to the family values and applications of those values in the conflict and the business as a whole.

Operational conflict: This is conflict that occurs in the everyday operations of the business. Families are complex in nature, and they are made up of various individuals that have different thoughts and beliefs about the values of the family and the business. Without clear direction on what the values, vision, and mission of the business is, conflicts arise. Some members of the family may value the monetary gain the business offers, while others may appreciate the shared goals and unity of family that the business represents.

In such cases, the family must find a middle ground. A family constitution helps document and clarify the family values while ensuring every voice and need is addressed in a way that if an operational conflict arises, it can be resolved in a way that sees all parties’ voices being heard. Equally so, as values change and the family changes and evolves, so will the constitution.

Spousal Conflict. As families grow, so do their various networks. Each time there is a marriage or birth, the family grows bigger. And the complexities of the relationships deepen. One such complication is marriage. How do family businesses handle marriages and the in-law and in-laws that come with it?

How do families and family businesses handle divorces and the similar complexities that come with it. In some famous cases of family businesses, we find that the new in-law can be blamed as the source of new family conflicts. And this conflict has the potential of overflowing into the family business. Issues of do in-laws get jobs within the family business and what expectations or qualifications apply.

Similarly so, so in-laws her shareholding and when. Professional advisors can help families navigate the legal and moral complexities of the spousal conflict and help the family business formulate the appropriate solutions that apply to their needs.

Also Read: Building Sustainable and Profitable Enterprises: An Interview with David Owumi, Founder of VisionCTRL Africa

Assumed conflict is our final conflict on this list. Assumed conflict is the conflict that occurs when there is assumption and no clarity on issues or actions that are taken by a family member within the business or in a way that affects the business. The other family members and the public may also assume due to speculation that there is conflict when, in fact, there is not. If clarity in communication is not taken immediately, then the assumed conflict may quickly escalate to become an actual conflict that may have a negative impact.

It is necessary to note that this list of possible conflicts that may occur in a family and its business is by no ways, exhaustive. What is crucial to note is that all the conflicts may sound negative or may seem to have negative impacts on the family business and the family itself; however, this is not always the case. As stated at the beginning, some conflicts create the opportunity for resolution of long-standing issues and, in other instances, opportunities to review values or traditions that need refreshment.

Tradition holds us together, but innovation and development make us stronger and more capable in the face of different generations and the forward advancing world. For families and their businesses to last through many generations, there must be accommodation of the values of the new generations as much as the understanding of the need to grow differently if needs be.

How does your family deal with conflict and conflict resolution? Has it ever affected your family business, and how?

By Tsitsi Mutendi, Founder of African Family Firms and Africa is Rising Collective

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