British American Tobacco (BAT) Nigeria has won the Food, Beverage and Tobacco Category of the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) inaugural Annual Employers’ Excellence Awards. BAT Nigeria was among other business organizations that received awards in their respective sub-sectors of the economy. The company also received the ‘Gold Sponsor’ award at the occasion.
The objective of the awards is, among other things, to celebrate and acknowledge organisations which see people as their core businesses and have implemented policies, systems and processes that create and sustain enterprise competitiveness and productivity, as well as recognise their contribution to national development.
The criteria for the awards were: leadership and governance; innovation, productivity and corporate performance; effective human relations management and industrial relations practice; inclusiveness and diversity; responsible business conduct; technological optimization; and occupational health and safety.
The Marketing Director, BAT Nigeria, Ademola Omitayo, who received the award on behalf of the company, in a chat with the media, expressed his excitement about the awards, noting that they were in recognition of BAT’s culture of creating a work environment that encourages its people to develop and synergise their diverse skills as they contribute to overall company performance. He added;
“Our culture is centred around our new ethos of being bold, fast, empowered, diverse and responsible and we will continue to invest in capacity development in line with our vision of building a better tomorrow for all our employees, stakeholders and the society,”
In an opening address, the President of NECA, Taiwo Adeniyi, noted that the major objective of the awards is to recognise and celebrate the doggedness and resilience of organised businesses in Nigeria.
“As you are well aware, Nigerian businesses are arguably the most resilient in the world despite the myriad of challenges besetting the operating environment. They have demonstrated social responsibility, fruitful partnership with government through the provision of employment opportunities for the teeming youth, and payment of taxes and levies to government at all levels for developmental purpose.”
Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Rabiu Olowo, who represented the Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said:
“In Lagos State, our idea of political economy is about government, business and society. Interestingly, NECA is doing a lot to promote that intersection between government and the people, which is the society. We recognise and support all the projects and initiatives by NECA in promoting sustainable businesses and economy. That is why it is very important, this evening, to celebrate those who are contributing to the economy of Nigeria and Lagos State in particular.”
Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo, while commending NECA for its “vision and zeal in organising its inaugural Annual Employers’ Excellence Award and the remarkable criteria adopted in recognising and selecting the awardees,” urged them to “sustain the objectivity and standard of selecting the awardees so as to enable Nigerian employers compete meritoriously with their peers globally.” He stated further “indeed with this innovation, NECA, as the most representative employers’ association in Nigeria, is setting the pace for our local employers to adopt the best global practice in their operations.”