Abuja, Nigeria, Crown Flour Mill Limited (CFM), the wheat milling business of the agribusiness giant, Olam Agri, has won Nigeria’s National Productivity Order of Merit Award. The top award was presented to the flour milling firm by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, at an event held at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja, on Thursday, May 12, 2022, in recognition of its robust economic contributory role.
The National Productivity Order of Merit Award was instituted by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Labour and Employment to reinforce productivity consciousness and excellence in both the public and private sectors.
According to Dr Chris Ngige, the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, the award was “instituted by Government to recognize and honour productive individuals and organizations in Nigeria in the year of the award for achievements made in the three preceding years.”
The 2022 edition of the awards recognises individuals and businesses who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in key areas of the economy between the years 2019 and 2020.
Over 100 companies contested for the award category. A highly qualified panel comprising Barrister Ikechi Uko, a representative of the Productive Sector, Ms A.O Adenugba, a Director in the National Productivity Centre, and Alhaji Habu Adamu Jajere, representing Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA); Mr. Uche Nwokedi, SAN, representing Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) amongst other notable top national figures put the contesting companies through a rigorous, highly competitive, selective process that involved a stringent screening and auditing of each business’ performance in the areas of customer service, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and customer satisfaction, environment health & safety.
CFM emerged top in the category having demonstrated overall leadership on each of the performance indicators. Olam acquired CFM in 2010 and to strengthen its market position followed with the acquisitions of the BUA Group flour milling business in 2016 and the Dangote Flour Mills in 2019. This move was aimed at optimizing its corporate strategy and formed part of a long-term investment and growth plan for the food production value chain in Africa’s largest market.
CFM continues to demonstrate unrivalled commitment to driving growth in the wheat value chain through the implementation of bold initiatives such as the Olam Green Land Webinar Series, its stakeholders’ engagement platform and the “Seeds for the Future” programme its signature and flagship wheat value chain development vehicle.
As part of that programme, it has provided irrigation equipment to female wheat farmers and only recently, CFM upgraded a dilapidated school in indigent communities to provide sound academic foundations for future leaders of the country as part of an overall focus on the development of Nigeria.
Most notably, the recent strong performances and latest recognition of the business’ robust contribution to the growth of the economy are a result of the dynamic leadership, vision and can-do spirit of its current Managing Director, Ashish Pande. Ashish took the reins of managing the organisation in November 2020.
Speaking shortly after receiving the National Productivity Award, Pande said, “We are most grateful to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari, for the consistent supports we have received over the years, and to the organisers of this award for considering us for this recognition.”
“We continue to generate new jobs and prioritize the delivery of safe, nutritious and affordable food brands to the growing national population as we expand operations across our production facilities. This latest award is a motivation to do more to enhance the national gross domestic productivity rating,” he added.
According to President Muhammadu Buhari, who presented the awards to the various winners, “Productivity is a vital determinant of economic growth, social progress and improved standards of living.”
He said, “I want to congratulate all the awardees for their various accomplishments and well deserved recognitions. You have been carefully selected among competitors. This award should spur you to greater heights.”
The awards were confered on 48 individuals and organisations at the ceremony. Other representatives of the firm at the award presentation ceremony are Moshood Quadri, Head, Human Resources, Crown Flour Mill, Datti Danjuma, Head Corp Affairs and Govt Relations, Crown Flour Mill (CFM) and Damilola Adeniyi, Corporate Affairs Manager, Olam Nigeria.