By Yakubu Uba
The Management of Savannah Sugar Company in Adamawa, a subsidiary of Dangote Group on Tuesday announced resumption of business after over one month of closure.
The Group Managing Director, Sugar, Dangote Group, Abdullahi Sule made the announcement at a joint briefing with representatives of the company’s host community at Gyawana in Lamurde Local Government Area of Adamawa.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls the company closed operations in June following conflict with the host community over a laid off of 3000 casual workers.
“We had a misunderstanding that led to closure of the company and God so kind we have resolved all the issues yesterday.
“We have decided that we are going to work as a family to move this company forward.
“The message here is that the Board, our Chairman. Alhaji Aliko Dangote, our leaders in this community are all working together to ensure the company’s progress and to enable it play its major role in Nigeria.
“Today, savannah is the only company that is producing sugar in the country and it has produced over 20,000 metric tonnes within the past 10 years,’’ he said.’’
Sule said that the misunderstanding and the consequent closure of the company was unfortunate.
He said that the laid off of the casual workers “is normal’’ and should not have caused friction except for the poor manner it was handled by the officials when he was on vacation.
Sule explained that it has been the standard practice by the company to conduct massive employment of casual workers during weeding, application of chemical and fertilizer as well as harvesting and crushing of sugar cane.
He said such workers are expected to be laid off after the season.
Sule disclosed that with the resumption of business on Tuesday, the company has reengaged over 300 casual staff to guard its sugar cane farm.
“Whenever the need for weeding arises we would reengage over 2,500 people.
“It is our dream that savanah will expand to employ about 10,000 people,’’ he said.
The leader of Gyawana Community, Mr Jerome Dakama, and the Youth President of the community, Mr Alfred Ngbali, respectively lauded the resumption of operation by the company.
They also commended the peaceful resolution of the misunderstanding with the company.
“We tendered our demands and the immediate ones were met.
“We have resolved with the management and we are ready to support the company for the benefit of all,’’ Dakama said.