Now that Dangote Has Spoken About Its Trucks
BY EGUONO ODJEGBA
In a rather unusual and unexpected turn of events, Africa’s industrial giant, Dangote Group of Companies last week denied the involvement of its truck in the alleged killing of a number of Nigerians in Ogun State; where it has a fairly large operational fleet, doing both in-country and cross border trade.
Dangote explained that the truck involved in the said accident does not belong to it. The conglomerate’s Chief Group Branding and Communication Manager, Anthony Chiejina, faulted the reported claim allegedly by Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) that the killer truck belonged to Dangote.
Chiejina explained that although the said truck bears the company’s logo, it was no longer Dangote’s in view of the fact that the said truck and others in the fleet of ‘Dangote Flour’, has since being sold to Olam International Ltd, makers of Crown Flour products, which supposedly acquired Dangote Flour in 2019.
The rebuttal of the killer truck no longer belonging to Dangote was punctuated with a foreboding emphasis; “in a widely publicized deal”, apparently to drum home maximum comprehension by the general public. That was rather unwarranted under the circumstances; and to some extent even betrayed bit of corporate arrogance if not corporate rude attitude.
The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to some online media reports that a truck conveying petroleum product, which was involved in a fatal crash that claimed several lives, belongs to Dangote Flour.
“The truck bearing the logo of Dangote Flour was said to have been involved in an accident in Ogun State. However, contrary to a report by the Federal Road Safety Commission, the said truck does not belong to the Dangote Group.
“It should be noted that Olam International Ltd, makers of Crown Flour products, acquired Dangote Flour in 2019 in a widely publicized deal. The company now fully belongs to Olam.”
The facts on ground at the time of the accident showed that the killer truck was in the corporate logo of Dangote. Organisational fleets are known and identified by their corporate logos and colours.
In Nigeria and other African countries where Dangote operates, its trucking fleet is the same and wholly identical to it. There is no logical reason to believe that a truck similar in make, size and logo does not belong to Dangote; most especially against the backdrop of public complaints about the alleged recklessness of the Dangote trucks on the highways, industrial layouts and townships.
Today we shall not go into the number of accidents recorded against Dangote trucks every year, or bother about the number of incidental deaths. Nor will this report look at the number of Dangote trucks involved in the offensive transportation of prohibited imports, and why the federal government appears apparently incapacitated in taking appropriate sanction against the company like it is done to other organizations involved in the haulage value chain.
It must be noted that although Dangote duly empathized with the family of the victims of the Ogun State accident, the manner of its disclaimer of the killer truck came across as one of its lowest in corporate attitude, public enlightenment and image management.
In the light of the above, one would naturally expect that Dangote Group owes Nigerians a public apology for insulting her collective intelligence. It is not the duty of the public to demand that Olams the buyer of Dangote Flour Mills should carry out the necessary change of name that is expected to reflect the new identity.
And should the deal involved retainership of the Dangote corporate logo, which is most unlikely, the onus of enlightening the general public to this reality equally lies with Dangote.
As a continental player in the productive sector, it is beneath Dangote to expect the public to engage in primitive assumptions, and or, accept some overdose of its corporate big-headedness by blaming its fault on others.