• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Labour in manufacturing is not cheap, says Coleman MD

Labour in manufacturing is not cheap, says Coleman MD

George Onafowokan, MD/chief executive officer of Coleman Technical Industries Limited, has said labour is not cheap when it comes to running a manufacturing business in Nigeria.

Onafowokan said this on Thursday at the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) event themed ‘Transforming a manufacturing business’.

“Labour is not cheap in Nigeria, the assumption that what you are paying someone today while looking at sustainability, one error will cost the business more than their salary,” he said.

Read also: Coleman Technical Industries quotes additional Commercial Papers on FMDQ Exchange

“You should invest in making employees’ lives as easy as possible. This is what we invested in and we became far more efficient and profitable. Five percent of our profit after tax goes to our staff and it is sustainable in keeping the people.”

He added that the fiscal policy issues might be increasing revenue for the government but more businesses will begin to die.

“To resurrect a dead business is very difficult. A surviving business can still be improved and that is one key area we need to review on both macro and micro policies of the government,” Onafowokan said.

He said sustainability for both the workforce and family is growing a team that is built from the ground up.

While speaking about what Coleman does, he said, “What we have been able to do is to build a team that is focused on being able to deliver on their own.”

“You can’t build a business that is sustainable based on only you but based on a team of employees that know what they are doing,” Onafowokan said.

He stated that trust has to be built with workers which is based on the legacy of the leader.

“The bigger your business grows, the less you are the one doing it yourself. Trust is easier to achieve when leadership in any way is practising what they are saying,” Onafowokan said.

Ray Atelly, president and chairman of the council at the NBCC, said there needs to be planning so that organisations won’t fail.

He said: “Organisations currently running should know that the CEC or chairman will not live forever and after a few years, he/she may need to hand over.

“Succession does not mean just handing over to your children, it could mean grooming others within the organisation so that they can take over.”

According to Atelly, there is a need to train others or give them the enablement so they will want to succeed in their business. “A lot of youths are not interested in their parents’ business.”

He urged young people to see another side of their parent’s business that they can explore, refine, and polish to make it better. “If your Dad is running a business that is analogue, go digital.”

He cited Europe and America as examples who have companies that are 600 and 700 years old.

“The most important thing is to keep the business going and keep the people employed so they don’t have to shut down and start all over again,” Atelly said.