The Food, Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association (FOBTOB) has launched a N1 million empowerment scheme for children of its members who graduate with first class.
The union’s President, Quadri Olaleye, who revealed this at a luncheon in Lagos in honour of the media for their support for the union’s activities, explained that the award of N1million to brilliant youths was aimed at promoting academic excellence.
“We decided to initiate a scholarship award on yearly basis but exclusive to children of our members. It is a merit award of one million Naira for students that graduate with a First Class degree,” he said.
“Just last week Friday, we were at Nestle Nigeria Plc to celebrate one of our children that got a first class in Electrical Electronics from Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA). The bank draft of N1 million was delivered to him in the presence of the management representatives.
“If we cannot assist the world at large, at least let us do something within our circle. We want to make ourselves more relevant, our members have high expectations from us, and we cannot afford to disappoint them.” According to him, the decline of student performance in universities spurred the association to come up with a merit award initiative.
Olaleye said the admittance of directors and senior managers as members of the union made FOBTOB a unique amongst the comity of industrial trade unions in Nigeria.
“In the past, our managers thought the union was for senior staff only, but as we speak, we have more managers in our midst. Between 2016 till date, one of our priorities is to continue to increase membership. We make sure every year our target is minimum of five companies joining our fold,” he added.
He also restated the commitment of the leadership of the union to continue to be prudent and exhibit high professionalism in the operations of the union.
Olaleye said things have changed since the inception of the current administration different from what it used to be.
“Before now, we used to have different offices within a building, but now we have an open office which is part of our journey towards excellence. It makes us work faster, respond to issues faster and it also builds our inter relationship.
“We are a union and we want to be different in the comity of unions even with the way we do things. The reason is because we belong to the private sector and the way we do things in our sector, especially in the food and beverages, we want people to recognise us as totally different from others.”
He explained that while the union is desirous of expansion of its membership base, managing directors and human resources directors would not be admitted into the union.
“By our constitution and agreement, the only people that are exempted from being our member is the Managing Director and the human resources directors, all other directors are our members. In a union that a Director belongs to, you will see that its makes the union different from the common one, which is guiding us in our journey towards excellence,” he said.
“When the present executive came on board, there were no funds to carryout activities, we were asking our employers to donate for us but now things have changed.”