Abiola Akinbiyi, better known by his stage name Bella Shmurda, a Nigerian music icon, has shared his experiences working in one of the factories run by Aliko Dangote, a Nigerian business magnate.
In a radio interview on Cool FM Lagos, Mr Akinbiyi described how he saw a coworker who was cleaning the roof fall into hot groundnut oil without any protection to save the worker.
He claimed that the incident took place on a Saturday morning when he was still a student at Lagos State University, (LASU) where he had accepted a job working in a factory making Dangote noodles to help pay for his tuition.
Mr Akinbiyi stated that it was at that point, when the deceased was removed from the hot oil, that he decided to stop working at the firm and return all company items, including the clothing and boots.
The musician’s tales of working as a factory worker highlight the need for statutory regulations safeguarding the safety of factory workers in Nigeria and across the world as many have lost limbs and fingers due to the owners of these enterprises’ failure to implement safety protections.
“It was like a Saturday morning. I went to work. We started working already. We just heard everybody screaming that someone fell into hot oil. He was cleaning the roof, so he fell down. In the factory, there is this oil that the Indomie [noodles] pass through to get hard because it is actually soft. It will pass through the oil to get hard, then it will come inside the nylon, and then you will pack it inside the packet.
“So, the guy fell inside the oil. It took long before they brought him out. Guy, him don fry. Omo, that day ehn, the clothes wey dem dey give us, I just off am, off their shoe, I just dey go. I said I no dey work again.”
@Basilfavour on X platform (formally known as Twitter) said “There will always be risk in running a company but it has to be managed properly, that’s where the safety managers come in. Nigerian Brewery will always say “safety first”
@XtylaBoyBanx said “Same scene like this happened when I was working at CELPLAST in shaggy but the guy hand cut ni, his whole hand same week an Indian man too fell victim of same incident Na that day I waka go house cus they flew the Indian man go abroad go treat am while the naija guy dey one local Hospital. Life no balance but naija gov. No dey try concerning tradings and company regulations matter
@Xtass001 said, “Dangote really needs to step up with safety practices.