It was a day of huge financial rewards laced with pomp for the customers and distributors of the Dangote food companies as the management doled out millions of Naira in addition to all expenses paid trips to Dubai in appreciation of their faithful patronage for the year 2018.
Hundreds of customers as well as 77 major distributors from across the nation were honoured at the 2018 Dangote Customers Celebration and Food Distributors’ Award Night, organized by Dangote Foods. Dangote Foods, comprises of Dangote Flour Mills, Dangote Sugar Refinery and NASCON Allied Industries.
At the award dinner held previous yesterday at the Convention Centre of Eko Hotel, Victoria Island Lagos, 54 winners emerged from the geopolitical regions while the balance was in the other and national categories. Alhaji Ali Balarabe of Balarabe & Sons emerged the overall best performing customer in the national category for the second consecutive time.
In her welcome address, Chairman of NASCON Allied Industries, Mrs. Yemisi Ayeni who described the customers as ‘the most important part of our business’ said that the recognition of this symbiotic partnership formed the theme of the award ceremony; ‘Better. Stronger. Together.’ She added that the event was to honour the customers who made it possible for Dangote food products to be the preferred choice in all households.
She said, “Your continuous patronage over the years demonstrates your confidence in our product range; sugar, flour and salt. You have helped to create awareness for Dangote Food products across the six geopolitical regions. This has led to increased consumption of our products in the regions.”
President/CE, Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote in his remarks, said that the award was to appreciate customers and distributors who through their dogged and persistent efforts had made Dangote Foods products a household name in Nigeria.
He said, “You are all aware that we are celebrating 2018 against all odds. Our Food businesses recorded mixed results in the year with NASCON growing while Dangote Sugar Refinery and Dangote Flour Mill had a very difficult year. Fluctuations in performance are known to occur in the life of businesses but the greater part is that you persevered with us. My special commendation goes to Dangote Sugar and Pasta customers who, despite the price challenges posed by influx of unlicensed and substandard grey imports stood by us.”
“We have remained the dominant brand in most of the sectors where we play in the food sector, and we are delighted to have you as our partners through thick and thin,” he said.
He disclosed that the company invested massively in the sugar sector across the country in line with its Backward Integration Project targeted at the production of 1.5 million metric tonnes per annum of refined sugar in the next 10 years.
Dangote said that the challenges would soon history as investment in the sugar sector would soon create between 75,000 to 150,000 jobs, price reductions and improved profits to customers.
He commended the customers for enduring the Apapa gridlock that caused delay to product delivery and increased cost to business.
“To reduce the traffic gridlock, we invested significantly in the Apapa road reconstruction project and the completion in 2019 should bring massive relief to our three food companies as well as our competitors operating from the axis,” he said.
He recalled that in 2018, he disclosed plans for new investments in NASCON Allied Industries aimed at boosting efficiency and better returns. “Today, NASCON, after a strong 2018, has continued to roll out several culinary innovations such as curry, stew mix, soup mix and different seasoning flavors to satisfy consumer demands,” he said.The industrialist noted that Dangote Flour Mills had a four-prong strategy – expanding capacity, innovating to attract more user groups, upgrading capabilities and enhancing product portfolio.
Dangote said that the company’s goal for 2019 was to continue to delight its customers, bakers, confectioners and consumers all over the country, saying it would result in stronger growth and sustenance of all its business units.He said that the company’s investments which includes the $12 billion Ibeju-Lekki refinery & fertilizer projects would address Nigeria’s agriculture and energy needs.
In his appreciation remarks, Alhaji Ali Balarabe of Balarabe & Sons, the overall best performing customer in the national category thanked God for an excellent year in which he emerged tops for the second consecutive time as the top distributor. He also thanked Dangote for the long years of maintaining the cordial relationship between the two companies.
He stated that a lot of young people are venturing into the food distribution business with Dangote Foods which he described as a welcome development as it would the number of jobless youths roaming the streets. He tasked the youths not to relent but put in more efforts as no gain comes ease.