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Court orders Dangote Cement to pay truck driver N.8m hospital bills, 1 year salary

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 Nasiru Yusuf 

The Presiding Judge, Kano Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court, Justice Ebiye Isele has ordered Dangote Cement to pay one of its former truck drivers, Anas Ibrahim accumulated salary from August 2020 to August 2021 and the sum of N847,450 representing the settlement of the Claimant’s hospital bills forthwith.

KANO FOCUS reports that the court held that “since Mr. Ibrahim suffered the injuries while in the employment of the firm and was subsequently hospitalized for months for treatment, it is only fair in the interest of justice and the circumstance of the case that Ibrahim be paid his salary from August 2020 to August 2021 when the company repudiated the employment relationship.”

However, Justice Isele held that Mr. Ibrahim had not shown the court that there is a duty of care which the firm owed him leading to the accident and trying to blame the company’s staff that were at the depot for not allowing him to stay over does not amount to a good excuse because the depot Managers were never named and were not called to give evidence.

From fact, the claimant, Mr. Ibrahim had submitted that on 01/07/2020 during the normal course of employment, he transported Cement Products from the Company Factory in Ogun State to the Company Depot at Ikorudu, Lagos State, and was thereafter directed by the Management of the firm’s depot to return to Ogun State that same day due to the Defendant’s policy that unloaded Trucks are not allowed to be parked at the premises.

The Claimant also averred that he was forced to leave the premises of the depot the same day at around 5pm and after navigating the Sango Ota toll gate successfully, a truck driver who was driving recklessly at the top speed lost control of his vehicle and ran into him and he lost consciousness and was taken to hospital where his medical expenses totaled the sum of N874,450 were incurred.

He averred further that Dangote Cement had refused to pay his salaries from August 2020 till date, and compensation, urged the court to grant the reliefs sought.

In defense, the defendant, Dangote Cement denied Ibrahim’s assertion and maintained that no duty of care was breached and from its investigation, it was found out that the Claimant was sighted exiting the premises without any forewarning and nobody could have stopped him from leaving because it is generally known that Claimant’s duty post is at Ibese Ilaro Ogun State.

defendant also averred that it was instrumental in taking Mr. Ibrahim to the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta from the Sango Ota Hospital in a bid to provide him access to a better medical facility with an initial deposit of N100,000 while also gifted his family with another N100,000 for other medical bills.

In a further submission, the firm also denied abandoning the Claimant as it sent its staff to check up on him from time to time and even made money available for the test, X-rays, drugs, and ambulance throughout the Claimant’s stay at Federal Medical Centre Abeokuta before the Claimant suddenly disappeared, urged the court to dismiss the case for lacking merit.

In opposition, the claimant’s counsel averred that the defendant breached the duty of reasonable care for the safety of his client when the staff of the Defendant Company at the Ikorodu depot refused the request of the Claimant to spend the night at the premises of the Cement Depot and his yet to be compensated for the accident and injury sustained.

Delivering the judgment, the presiding Judge, Justice Ebiye Isele held that the only fact found capable of making the defendant responsible is that the claimant was its employee at the time of the accident every other fact in this matter does not favour the Claimant’s case.

The Court further explained that clause D in exhibit A1 which provides for driving hours and conditions are to be strictly adhered to. These are from 6 am to 7 pm and no driving while rain falls, poor visibility, the influence of alcohol and drugs.

“From the above, I find that the Claimant was not in compliance with the defendant’s laid down rule in continuing to drive after 7 pm after enduring a more than two hours gridlock at the Sango toll gate from where he continued to drive makes him contributorily negligent.

“I hold that it was careless of him to have continued since he knew he was even fatigued,” Justice Isele ruled.

The Court dismissed N50m compensation and other claims for lacking merit as published in National Industrial Court website.

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Dangote Refinery imports additional 11m barrels of US crude oil due to domestic supply shortage

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

 

Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals has issued a tender for an additional 11 million barrels of US crude oil over the next six months due to Nigerian crude oil producers’ inability to meet its feedstock requirements.

KANO FOCUS reports that the 650,000 barrels per day refinery has already received 9 million barrels of West Texas Intermediate crude from the US since the beginning of 2024 to offset unreliable domestic supplies. The new tender, closing on July 21, aims to procure two million barrels per month of WTI Midland crude for the world’s largest single-train facility located in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos, for the next six months starting in August.

In a tender reported by Bloomberg, Dangote Refinery purchased five million barrels of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Midland crude for delivery in the upcoming months of August and September. Additionally, the company initiated a tender process to acquire an additional six million barrels of American crude for September.

This reliance on US crude highlights Nigeria’s challenges in meeting its own refining needs, attributed to issues such as crude theft, aging infrastructure, and underinvestment, which have led to a decline in production. In April, Nigeria’s daily output was only 1.45 million barrels, well below its capacity of 2.6 million barrels per day. The country recorded an estimated 30 million barrels underproduction in the first four months of 2024.

Dangote Refinery, crucial to Nigeria’s goal of becoming a net exporter of petroleum products, has found it necessary to import crude to sustain operations amidst insufficient domestic supply.

President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, stated during the Africa CEO Forum 2024 that the refinery will need to continue importing crude as production scales up and alternative supply contracts are sought.

“It also makes economic sense for us to tender for crude. If we could source 100 percent Nigerian crude, then fine, but we can’t wait,” said Dangote.

Commenting on the challenge with sourcing crude locally, Dangote added, “there is a bit of a problem for us to source the entire volume of crude that we’re looking for domestically because we need different types and mixes. Unless crude production improves – which we pray and hope for – we need to go elsewhere.”

The refinery took in more than 41 million barrels of feedstock in the first half of the year as it completed test runs and gradually increased processing rates, tanker-tracking data show. Of that, about a quarter has been American supply.

According to CAS, the refinery took delivery of 11 WTI cargoes, or 9 million barrels, between February and May, contrasting with around 18 million barrels of Nigerian crude deliveries.

Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), NNPC has struggled to meet its 300,000 barrels per day obligation to the refinery due to operational constraints.

International financial analytics corporation, S&P Global, recently described the Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals company as capable of resolving Nigeria’s foreign exchange (forex) issue and its huge pressure on the local Naira currency, while also catalysing the country’s economic development.

S&P Global, headquartered in Manhattan, New York City, disclosed this during an onsite visit to the refinery as part of its sovereign credit ratings assessment of Nigeria. The team from the international rating agency were accompanied by officials from the Federal Ministry of Finance.

S&P noted that the refinery would bolster Nigeria’s oil sector and, more importantly, also have a positive impact on its growing economy.

Currently operating at 350,000 barrels per day capacity, Vice President of Oil and Gas at Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), Devakumar Edwin, recently disclosed that the refinery would scale up to at least 500,000 barrels per day capacity by July/August, commencing the refining of petrol and ultra-low sulphur diesel.

He noted that the refinery, designed to process a wide range of crudes including various African and Middle Eastern crudes, as well as US Light Oil, conforms to Euro V specifications. In addition, it is designed to comply with US EPA, European Union (EU) emission norms, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) emission/effluent norms, and the African Refiners and Distribution Association (ARDA) standards.

While noting that most refineries were built by foreign companies, he said it is a thing of pride that a Nigerian company designed and built the world’s largest single-train refinery complex while acting directly as its own Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contractor. The refinery which also incorporates a self-sufficient marine facility capable of handling the world’s largest vessels, can meet 100% of Nigeria’s requirement of all liquid products (Gasoline, Diesel, Kerosene & Aviation Jet) and have surplus of each of these products for export.

 

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UNICEF Commends Governor Yusuf for Education Prioritization in Kano State

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Mukhtar Yahya Usman

In a gesture of appreciation, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has praised Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State for his steadfast commitment to enhancing the education sector within Kano.

During a cordial meeting at the Kano Government House on Thursday, the Country Director, Mrs. Christain Munduate, extolled the enduring partnership between UNICEF and Kano State, advocating for its reinforcement to yield greater mutual benefits and collaborative opportunities.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Governor’s spokesperson Mr. Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa and made available to journalists in Kano.

Mrs. Munduate reiterated UNICEF’s unwavering support for the state in both the Health and Education sectors, emphasizing the imperative for Kano State to fulfill its counterpart funding obligations for the Malnutrition project.

In response, Governor Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf called for increased support and goodwill from UNICEF and other donor agencies, highlighting Education and Health as pivotal realms necessitating additional assistance due to their fundamental importance in societal progress.

Governor Yusuf pinpointed Malnutrition and poliomyelitis as pressing health concerns, particularly affecting children and other vulnerable demographics.

Detailing the notable achievements in the education sector under his administration, Governor Yusuf underscored his government’s dedication to providing essential infrastructure, educational resources, modern classrooms, teacher training programs, and fostering an enriching environment conducive to learning.

Furthermore, in the realm of healthcare, Governor Yusuf emphasized the state’s endeavors to ensure complimentary medical services for women and children, overhauling of hospitals, and furnishing healthcare facilities with requisite equipment.

Assuring the visiting delegation, Governor Yusuf expressed the State’s commitment to doubling the counterpart funding contribution compared to Jigawa State for combating the pressing issue of Malnutrition.

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NiMet predicts morning thunderstorms in Kano on Friday

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted morning thunderstorms on Friday over parts of Kano State.

KANO FOCUS reports that NiMet’s weather outlook released on Thursday in Abuja envisaged thunderstorms over parts of Jigawa, Kebbi, Kaduna, Adamawa, Taraba, Gombe and Bauchi States on Sunday.

The agency anticipated thunderstorms over parts of Katsina State, Zamfara, Sokoto State and Kebbi.

The agency urged the public to take adequate precautions as strong winds may precede the rains in areas where thunderstorms are likely to occur.

NiMet advised Airline operators to get updated weather reports and forecasts from NiMet for effective planning in their operations.

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