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Unifoam Debunks Alleged Staff Maltreatment, Warns Against Blackmail

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A company, United Foam Products Limited, has dismissed an online report accusing it of maltreating and enslaving its workers among other allegations.
The firm described the report published on Sahara Reporters as a lie from the pit of hell, saying that a huge number of people including educated, non-educated and artisans have been engaged through its operation spanning four decades in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital alone.
This was contained in a statement issued by Barrister O.T Olorunnisola, an External Solicitor to the company, a copy of which was made available to Journalists in Ilorin, saying that the company prioritizes staff salaries and welfare.
The statement said there was no time the factory enslaved its workforce, pointing out that while they work for seven hours daily, they receive pay above the recommended minimum wage.
It described the report as the handiwork of the blackmailers, who were only out to drag the reputation the company built over the years in the mud and mislead the unsuspecting members of the public.

The statement also debunked the allegation that it bribed the police to arrest any staff with audacity to challenge the management of the company, saying that the reputable company of its nature would not indulge in such an unholy practice.
The statement also said the company enrolled with National Social Industrial Trust Fund (NSITF) on job hazards for contract staff, adding that the company also takes care of any job related accidents.
Contrary to the claim in the report that the company worked during COVID-19 lock down, the statement clarified that it got exemption from the state government to mass produce mattresses for donation in Kwara and Oyo States, just as it added that the company remains the longest surviving private company in the history of Kwara State with minimum of 500 staff strength.
The statement entitled ‘Re: We work like slaves, Nigerian workers in Lebanese company cry out over maltreatment’, read:
“Our attention has been drawn by our client (UNIFOAM)to a report on an online news platform, Sahara Reporters, alleging that client has been enslaving its staff and maltreating them at will among other spurious allegations.
We wouldn’t have dignified the catalogue of unsubstantiated allegations against our client , United Foam Products Limited, which the report identified as Unique Foam( a company which doesn’t exist) with a response but as a responsible and responsive organization, it behoves us to correct the erroneous impression created and set the record straight so as not to mislead the undiscerned.
First, our client has been operating as a company for the past four decades in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital being the Head Office, providing employment opportunities for educated, non-educated and even artisans. This, we believe, has gone a long way in curbing unemployment debacle in our society.

Secondly, our client maintain and sustain corporate and social responsibility and contribute its quota to the development of its host community in the spirit of giving back to the host community as a responsible organization.
Therefore, we want to state it clearly that there was never a time whatsoever that our client maltreated its staff in terms of payment of salaries and other welfare packages. The allegation that staff are paid peanuts is nothing but lie from the pit of hell.
In Unifoam, staff work for seven hours and they are paid more than the recommended minimum wage. This is a verifiable fact. Testimonies are there for people to see except for those who are in the habit of maligning and dragging the name of client in the mud, which obviously the writer is part of.
They also alleged in the report that our client sack staff arbitrarily. This is nothing but a cheap blackmail all in an attempt to portray our client in bad light. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Part of the allegations was that our client bribed the police authority to arrest any staff, who challenged the management on condition of service and welfare. This is another sensation and ploy to malign our client. As a responsible organization, our client has never and would never under whatever guise engage in such an unholy practice.
Our client is enrolled with National Social Industrial Trust Fund (NSITF) on job hazards for contract staff. In spite of that, the company takes care of any job related accidents. Unifoam also has a standard clinic on its premises to handle minor incidences, a facility which most corporate organizations cannot boast of. The company safety and security procedures are industrial standard and we are being regulated by all manufacturing regulatory bodies.
On the allegation that our client worked during COVID-19 lock down, we need to make it abundantly clear that our client was covered under the provider of essential services by Kwara State government to mass produce mattresses for Isolation Centres in Kwara and Oyo States among other states. These were DONATIONS from our client in support of the battle against coronavirus pandemic. We ensured all COVID-19 protocols were and still being observed in the company.
It is imperative to state that in spite of COVID-19 induced lock down, our client continued paying staff salaries in full regardless of whether they were at work or not. It would be recalled that the period under review was when most private companies laid off staff due to their inability to pay salaries.
For the record, United Foam Products Limited remains the longest surviving private company in the history of Kwara State with minimum of 500 staff strength.
We want to therefore urge the public to disregard the erroneous impression created by some faceless people through the unsubstantiated report. Our client is committed to prioritizing welfare of its staff and hold its customers and the general public in high etseem.

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AMVCA 2024: Full Winners List

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Below are the list of winners👇

  • Best Movie: Breath of Life
  • Best Lead Actor: Wale Ojo(Breath of Life)
  • Best Lead Actress: Kehinde Bankole (Adire)
  • Best Indigenous West Africa. Femi Adebayo Jagun Jagun
  • Best writing movie: Fumilayo Rans0me Kuti
  • Best Scripted: Slùm King
  • Best Costume Design: Jagun Jagun (Lola Awe)
  • Best Supporting Actress: Genoveva Umeh (Breath of Life
  • Best Supporting Actor: Ademola Adedoyin (Breath of Life)
  • Best MultiChoice Talent Factory Movie: Our Dàrk Past
  • Best Makeup: Mami Wata (Campbell Precious Arebamen
  • Industry Merit Awards: Iya Rainbow aka Idowu Philips and Richard Mofe Damijo
  • Best Writing Award: Volume
  • Best Director: BB Sasore (Breath of Life)
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Governor Sanwo-Olu Receives Prince Harry & Meghan Markle (Photos) 

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Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, received the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, on Sunday.

The British Royal couple was received by Governor Sanwo-Olu; his wife, Dr. Ibijoke, and some members of the State Executive Council during a courtesy visit at Lagos House, Marina.

Prince Harry, accompanied by his wife, Meghan, is on a three-day visit to Nigeria to promote the Invictus Games, which he founded in 2014. The couples had a stopover in Lagos on Sunday.

The Invictus Games are aimed at raising funds and supporting serving members of the military as well as veterans to overcome their physical and mental illness or injuries, which would help them to develop a sense of belonging and increased self-esteem.

Speaking to journalists after a closed door meeting with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Governor Sanwo-Olu praised the British Royal couple for the work they are doing with Nigeria’s military men, especially on issues around mental health.

He said: “We are honoured to receive them (Prince Harry and Meghan Markle) at the Lagos House, Marina. We are excited about the ideas and what they are planning to do, especially with the office of the Chief of Defense Staff, General Christopher Musa, and his wife, Mrs. Lilian Musa.

“For Prince Harry, it has been a very interesting and informative trip to the country. He has seen a lot. And part of the things we are hoping he will take away is the diversity and extent of how big our country is, how we continue to ensure that we live together in peace and harmony, and what role Lagos plays in the whole conversation.

“They have been to Kano, Abuja, and now Lagos. I am sure they have their own experience of what Nigeria looks like. We have extended an additional invitation to them that they can always come back when they want to.

“We are indeed happy for what they are doing, especially for our military men, on the conversation around mental health issues and how they can galvanise their various NGOs to ensure that people who require their support, both in the military and private, can seek that support.

“Mental health issues are all around us. Denial and stigmatisation, are some of the things we talked about. And more importantly, at what point in Nigeria can we have the Invictus Games that Prince Harry is known for so that the true Nigerian competitiveness can also be reflected in those games”

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US Announces African Infrastructure Venture Amid China’s Belt and Road Scrutiny

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In recent developments, the United States has announced plans to embark on its own infrastructure project in Africa, particularly in Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Angola. This initiative aims to refurbish and extend the Lobito Corridor, a railway system that will stretch through mineral-rich regions, linking Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo to an Atlantic port in Angola.

This move comes at a time when China’s efforts to expand its influence in Africa through infrastructure investments, notably its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), have faced scrutiny. Despite China’s investments, criticisms have emerged regarding the sustainability and completion of projects, prompting a shift in focus towards more manageable and sustainable initiatives.

The U.S, in collaboration with the European Union and African nations, is taking a proactive approach to ensure the success of the Lobito Corridor project. Key aspects include the involvement of private partners like the Africa Finance Corp., plans for long-term operation and maintenance, and capacity development strategies. This signifies a departure from past approaches and a commitment to transparent and sustainable infrastructure development.

Reflecting on China’s BRI, the U.S initiative seeks to learn from past experiences and avoid pitfalls encountered in previous projects. While China denies accusations of creating spheres of influence through its initiatives, concerns persist regarding the social, environmental, and economic impacts of its projects.

As the Lobito Corridor project progresses, attention is drawn to its potential connection with existing Chinese-built railways in the region, such as the Tazara railway linking Zambia and Tanzania. While the specifics are yet to be determined, the focus remains on practical and sustainable solutions that promote economic growth and benefit local communities.

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