A Nigerian sugar factory at Numan, Adamawa State is the scene of an industrial action by workers. Nigeria, an oil-producing state in West Africa, has the largest population of any country on the continent., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Protesting Workers Shut Down Dangote’s Factory
Sunday, 12 June 2011 00:00
From Emmanuel Ande
DANGOTE’S Savannah Sugar Company Plc in Numan, Adamawa State, was shut down by protesting workers at the weekend.
The workers, numbering over 2,000, took over the main entrance of the company and the administrative block, preventing top management staff from gaining access to their offices.
A mild drama occurred at the gate of the company, when the angry workers attacked two state security services (SSS) men, mistaking them for senior management staff.
The detachment of heavily armed policemen mounted at the gate rushed to the scene and rescued the operatives from the claws of the workers.
Leader of the protesting workers, Mr. Dimas Ishaku, told journalist that the management has turned members of the host community to slaves.
“When Dangote took over the Savannah Sugar Company, we all celebrated, thinking it was going to be a blessing, but now it is a curse,” he said.
Alluding to the biblical story of Israel in bondage, he said: “The Israelites were better off in Egypt than we are at Dangote Savannah Sugar Company. We work from 7am to 6pm and our daily pay is only N500. Can this money feed the dog of the managing director of the company for one hour?”
Ishaku said that 80 per cent of the regular casual workers at the company worked for seven to eight years without getting permanent appointment.
He lamented that several letters to the management to give the aggrieved workers permanent appointment met a brick wall.
Effort to get the management to comment was turned down by the leader of the police team, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) S.D Danjuma.
According to him, the Managing Director, Toddi Ta’aziah, was away for a crucial meeting with the town’s monarch.