Taiwo Shittu, executive director, Lanre Shittu Motors, has said that at a time many auto firms were downsizing and closing shops due to low business, Lanre Shittu Motors (LSM) Limited employed more workers last year to cater for its expanding operations.
Shittu disclosed this in Lagos at a media event.
He said that the company also increased workers’ salaries to encourage its hardworking personnel to do more.
He spoke while assessing the 2022 performance of the auto industry in Nigeria, saying that many players went through a turbulent time due to poor planning.
“For us, we did not lay off our workers. We even had to employ more people and increased salary by 20-40 percent based on performance and productivity. However, one or two people were asked to leave based on attitude to work and poor performance.
“What LSM did differently was adequate planning and preparing for the rainy day and building international reputation to obtain credit,” he said.
Shittu also said: “The other strategy is sticking to a good bank. A lot of banks will look in your direction when they know you to be a good, stable and reliable customer.”
The executive director faulted the practice of many companies who prefer to spread their funds across banks.
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According to him, “You may be doing big business, making a lot of profit but when you need their support (when resources are limited) and your case is brought before the bank executives, then your transaction history may seem little because you have spread your resources among many banks and that is an error many companies make.
“However, when about 70-90 percent of your funds are handled by a particular bank, that bank would be willing to support you when the need arises because they see the volume of your business, and can tell if you are loyal and would likewise place priority on you especially when resources are limited.”
He also said that another area where LSM had excelled was its input to the local technical manpower.
“The company had in the past years empowered many youths wandering about, to give them a new life, especially after passing out from primary and secondary schools, a lot of people want to further their studies but have no money,” he said.
He further said: “The young school leavers are encouraged to come and learn the skill of auto repairs and assembling. Some come from Abuja, Delta and Kaduna states including other places following which they are trained for a period of four years and get paid even while on training.
“We pay the females more to encourage many of them to stay and the pay is increased for each trainee every year.
“After the training, these youths are sent out to our customers across the country to handle their vehicles. In such places, they are being employed, accommodated and paid well. In some cases, they are given a car and placed on good salaries and we are getting good testimonies from those we sent out.
“These are people that would have been bus conductors, touts or motor boys, now heading a facility of about 300 to 500 trucks. The owners of these trucks know how valuable they are, each costing as much as N50million. They would not mind paying about N200,000 or more to those employed to maintain the trucks.”
He also said that Lanre Shittu Motors has graduate empowerment scheme, with a different package. “They are also trained for a period before we send them out to people who need their services,” he said.