The names that made the list of Nigeria’s top 100 companies command such power and wealth such that the initiative of President Goodluck Jonathan has come to define the country’s business operations.
Dangote Group, First Bank, Chevron and Elizade are among the top 100 companies.
MTN, Globacom, Chi Group, Nigerian Breweries, Nigeria Flour Mills, UAC, APN Terminal, Eko Supreme, Mamuda Industries, Dolphin Foods, Wemco, Bolawaole Enterprises and Indorama are also recognised.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, described the Top 100 Businesses Initiative as a bold effort to celebrate major investors and companies that are contributing to the development of the economy.
In selecting the top businesses, Aganga said the country adopted similar criteria as Fortune 500 in the US, hence it is objective and verifiable. “We want to make it absolutely clear that it has integrity. Coincidentally, it is happening in the year of our centenary. But we will in 120 years, in 150 years, in 200 years go back to the Centenary City, we will see the emblem of these companies as a Top 100 companies in the year Nigeria had its centenary,” he stated.
The Minister went on: “We are proud of these achievements because it is investors that create jobs for our people, wealth, facilitate economic growth and generate income for the government.
“We intend to use this Top 100 Businesses Presidential Award Dinner to say big thank you to those companies for their firm commitment and belief in our economy and to charge them to do more by bringing more investments to Nigeria.
“It is also aimed at creating a platform for public-private sector interactions on Nigerian economic policies.
“The Top 100 list is already showing diversity in our economy which is good news. They cut across sectors including oil and gas, telecommunications, manufacturing, financial services, construction, fast moving consumables, food manufacturers, logistics, among others.
“This process has, once again, demonstrated that there are many reputable companies in Nigeria. It is a tough job finalising this list. Nigeria is gifted with winners, great investors, great companies and, of course, the opportunities in Nigeria are huge.
“That is why we are organising the Top 100 event in this country for the first time. We are identifying the top 100 companies in Nigeria and recognising these companies for believing strongly and investing in this economy. Those companies have built considerable skills in Nigerians and continued to show strong commitments.
“In Nigeria of today’s business world, the companies that make up the top first 100 and subsequent ones, wield enormous power and influence government policy on a regular basis.
“Behind Nigeria’s economic success, are real companies that do business everyday. Those companies invest, employ our people and they keep our economy growing. This administration is aware that it is private companies that are driving our economy. Government is here to provide enabling environment. it is the private sector that will help Nigeria achieve its economic goals.”
Like the America’s Fortune 500, the Minister said the Top 100 Businesses Assessment Committee gleaned information from public companies’ annual reports, Nigeria Stock Exchange, NSE, the Financial Reporting Council, FRC, as well as reports from private companies that publish revenue figures, to decide the winners.
The committee was headed by the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the FRC, Mr. Jim Obazee.
Other members were Director-General, Industrial Training Fund, Mrs. Juliet Onaeko; Managing Director, Bank of Industries, Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa; Executive Secretary, Sugar Council, Dr. Lateef Busari; Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyema; Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr. Kabir Mashi; and Managing Director, Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority, Mr. Gbenga Kuye.
Also in the committee were the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, Mrs. Salatu Umar; Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo; CEO, Jake Riley Limited, Mrs. Funmi Ogbue; a Director from MITI, Bambo Kunle-Salami, and representatives of the Minister.