Nestle Nigeria and MTN Nigeria are among 25 companies that emerged winners at the maiden edition of Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) 2020 Employers’ Excellence Award ceremony on Wednesday night.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nestle Nigeria won in the Food, Beverages and Drinks Category, while MTN Nigeria won in the Telecommunication and GSM category.

Dangote Fertiliser/Projects and TGI Group won Chemical/Allied Products Award and Agro/Allied Services Award, respectively, at the event held at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Other recipients included Dantata and Sawoe Construction Company which was honoured for the Prevention and Elimination of Child Labour in the country.

NAN reports that the construction company was presented the award by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo.

Organisers say the NECA award is geared toward promoting and encouraging best practices in corporate performance, people management and industrial relations practices among employers in Nigeria.

In his opening remarks, President of NECA, Mr Taiwo Adeniyi, said the award was to reward and celebrate the doggedness and resilience of organised business in Nigeria.

Adeniyi said: “Nigerian enterprises are arguably the most dogged and resilient in the world despite the myriad of challenges besetting the operating environment.

“While some have buckled under the excruciating local and global operating pressure of unfavourable circumstances; and others relocated in the quest for survival, most organisations have continued to trudge along, amidst the prevailing turbulence.

“In doing this, Nigerian enterprises have demonstrated social responsibility and fruitful partnership with the government.

“This they did through the provision of employment opportunities for teeming youths and payment of taxes and levies to the government at all levels for developmental purposes.”

Also, the Director-General of NECA, Dr Timothy Olawale, said the award took into account the performances of the employers for the year 2020, hence, the 2020 Annual Excellence Award.

Olawale said the process leading to the selection of winners might not be perfect, but was credible, rigorous and fool-proof.

“The process has a three step control that seeks to ensure fairness to all organisations and remove influence from any quarter.

“While we noted the challenges faced by some organisations which may have prevented them from fully completing the process, those challenges have been taken as feedback to improve subsequent awards processes and also make it more open for all organisations.

“It is important to state that while winning is important to us, it is more important to celebrate the doggedness and resilience of our businesses in the face of global and local challenges.

“There is no better time to celebrate than now, having  surmounted to some extent the challenges posed by COVID-19; while we are not yet in Eldorado, we are definitely not hopeless, ” Olawale said.

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