Timothy Ogbole was an erstwhile employee of British American Tobacco (BAT) Nigeria who was disengaged in line with company policy. His performance for the year 2016 was deemed to be well below the required expectations following thorough evaluations by his Line Manager and other Senior Managers. As a result of his poor performance he was advised to be placed on a Performance Improvement Plan(PIP), a tool designed to help individuals recover from performance deficiencies. The PIP is a well-known tool used in addressing performance deficiencies in employees, not only in BAT but it is also recognised as a global best practice in HR Management.
Mr. Ogbole verbally and in writing refused on several occasions to proceed on PIP – he even refused interventions by Senior Executives at the most senior levels within the company. He started recording various conversations with individuals within BAT without the permission of the persons he was recording and openly threatened to maliciously blackmail the company and its management with the recordings. Having repeatedly breached company policies and following several failed interventions on the matter, the company was left with no other option than to terminate Mr. Ogbole’s employment. He has since been paid all due entitlements in line with company policy and in accordance with the guidelines stipulated under the Nigerian labour law.
Since his exit from the company, Mr. Ogbole has made spurious and unfounded claims against the company, the latest being his recent allegations published by the Sahara Reporters and Business Day Newspaper which are clearly false, malicious and intended to put the company’s reputation into disrepute.
Mr. Ogbole’s accusations against the company are unsubstantiated, without merit and should be disregarded. In fact, one of the employees alleged by Mr. Ogbole to have been demoted by the company was promoted and is currently working in the company’s head office in the United Kingdom.
Freddy Messanvi, Legal and External Affairs Director, BAT West Africa stated that, “We take these allegations seriously because we ensure strict adherence to conducting our operations in ways that respect the human rights of our employees, the people we work with and the communities we operate in.”
Mr. Messanvi, also added that, “We also abide by the local laws and are compliant with not just the local regulations as required by all relevant local agencies but we also benchmark ourselves against the requirements for labour practices globally, such as the OECD guidelines for Multinational Enterprises as provided for by our parent company.”
BAT has been in existence for over a 100 years and we are proud of our heritage. As one of the world’s leading multinational companies, we have clearly articulated and established HR strategies that ensure operational effectiveness and an engaging culture. BAT Nigeria possesses a high moral standing and has imbibed global guiding principles that govern the way we operate around the world.
As a responsible organisation, we will continue to abide by all laws of the country we operate in and will ensure strong ethical standing in the way we conduct our operations and interact with our employees and external stakeholders.