Adepeju Adebajo, managing director, WAPCO operations of LafargeHolcim, has disclosed that the cement company was not spared in the fallout of deadly Ebola virus that ravaged some African countries, including Nigeria, last year.

The break out of Ebola in the country abruptly forced the firm to call off longstanding, annual sporting events in 2014, he said.

LafargeHolcim had already incurred huge expenses in preparation of the annual sporting events last year, but the sudden breakout of the virus in the country prevented the firm from holding the annual sporting events, having considered people’s safety and health, and in accordance with government’s directive, he said.

Adebajo, who was represented by Enitan Oyenuga, general manager, human resources at the 2015 LafargeHolcim Sports Day held at Ewekoro Cement Plant at the weekend, said the annual event was established by the management of the company over 20 years, to boost employees’ moral and motivate them to be more productive.

She said: “Last year was peculiar. You will remember that last year, we had Ebola and one of our big values in our organisation is health and safety and so, despite the fact that we had put together everything; we had concluded all the plans, we had even printed shirts by the way.

“But last minutes, when we lost confidence that we would be in position to guarantee health and safety, we decided to put it off and unfortunately, if you don’t do it at a time like this, which is typically September, then you lose the opportunity to do it later because most of the kids would have gone back to schools.”

BusinessDay reports that LafargeHolcim Sports Day is annually held for managerial staff, the entire employees and families where various sporting events – track and field, are organised to boost moral and ensure sound health and safety for the staff of the firm.