Lafarge Africa’s CEO in Nigeria, Khaled El Dokani, apologized for his company’s role in admitting the deadly coronavirus in Nigeria.
Lafarge, a major cement manufacturer based in Ogun State, invited an Italian consultant to the country in late February for business purposes.
Nevertheless, the Italian was diagnosed with the deadly coronavirus Covid-19, which first emanated in China and infected almost 100,000 people worldwide.
The Italian’s case was the first ever recorded in Sub-Saharan Africa at the time.
What the Lafarge boss really said
“Frankly speaking, the company does not go through low periods. We’re doing great. The intention is to take a step forward. Therefore, we are looking at our teams and strengthening our strategy with the support of our members and teams.
“To be honest, one of the things that has proven the resilience of Lafarge Africa PLC is the level of awareness and anticipation of our people who have been training for months since the coronavirus kicked in. And that is one of the things that shows the company’s resilience. We are very well equipped to face these surprises. The reaction of our on-ground team and the way they responded, the way they coordinated with our states, especially Lagos and Ogun, was extremely rapid; it was very well appreciated.
“And I take this opportunity to thank the governors of Ogun and Lagos for their participation, their quick reaction and the great, great achievement they have made to contain the situation and take the necessary precautions.
“We are a large company, a large organization, we have many resources. However, the safety and health of our employees is a priority. And if it is necessary to sacrifice some of our results to ensure that our people are safe and healthy, that is what we are going to do. However, on the current situation – I have contact with all the people who were quarantined on individual phone calls, they are in very good health, morale is high, they have their phones with them, they are running the business from where they are. I look forward to overcoming this problem, which is unfortunate for all of us, and we apologize for any inconvenience caused to anyone.
“The plant is in operation and has not been closed. We have our trucks transporting our cement, so this is part of the rumors or news from social media that did not occur. We had visitors from the honorable Commissioner of Health, World Health Organization, they visited the factory and praised every step we have taken so far. “