The Food, Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association (FOBTOB) came into existence after house unions in Nigeria were restructured into industrial unions. Prior to this restructuring exercise, the three prominent and registered unions of senior staff within the Food, Beverages and Tobacco industry were:
- Flour Mills of Nigeria Senior Staff Association
- Nigerian Breweries Management Staff Association
- Management Staff Association of Guinness Nigeria Limited
Upon the restructuring exercise, the house unions were fused together to form the nucleus of the Food, Beverages and Tobacco Senior Staff Association which received its certificate of registration under the Trade Unions (Amendment) Act No. 22 of 1978. The Union has thus come of age. The Union organises membership mainly from the private sector companies and organisations.
The elections conducted at the inaugural Delegates’ Conference saw the emergence of (Late) Chief R. A. Alabi of Guinness Nigeria Limited as the First National President; Mr. J. C. Tamuno of Flour Mills of Nigeria Limited, Apapa became Vice-President; Mr. P. U. Itabor of Nigerian Breweries Limited; National Treasurer and Messrs P. Adeniyi, R. C. Winter and Alhaji S. S. Amego were the Trustees.
At the 1st Biennial Delegates’ Conference held in 1980, Mr. J. A. Iledare of Nigerian Breweries Limited was elected as National President and remained in office till November, 1984 following his re-election for a second term in office at the 2nd Biennial Delegates’ Conference in 1982.
Mr. Dele Olowogorioye of Cadbury Nigeria Limited who had been the Association’s Social/Publicity Secretary from 1982 to 1984, was elected as the National President at the 3rd Biennial Delegates’ Conference in 1984, a position he resigned in July, 1985 following his upliftment to management position which excluded him from membership of the Association.
Mr. Wole Olusanya of Flour Mills of Nigeria Limited, then Vice-President Lagos/Western Zone, was elected by the National Executive Council (NEC) as Acting National President in August 1985, a position he held until May, 1986 when he was elected National President at the 4th Biennial Delegates’ Conference. At the 5th Biennial Delegates’ Conference in May, 1988, Mr. Wole Olusanya was re-elected as National President for a second term.
Chief Emeka Chinweze of West Africa Milk Company (Nigeria) Plc, who had been the Deputy National President from 1986 to 1990, was elected National President of the Association at the 6th National Delegates’ Conference in May, 1990 for a one-term period of 4 years from 1990 to 1994.
At the 7th National Delegates’ Conference in May, 1994, Mr. (now Oba) Bayo Abioye of Nigerian Breweries Plc, the Deputy National President, was elected National President from May, 1994 to May, 1998. At the 8th National Delegates’ Conference held on 2nd May, 1998, Mr. Charles Ighalo (JP) of Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc, who was until then the Deputy National President, was elected National President for a four-year term. The 9th National Delegates’ Conference held on 4th May, 2002 saw the emergence of Mr. Gabriel T. Babalola, the then Deputy National President as the National President for a four-year term. At the 10th National Delegates’ Conference which was held on 27th May, 2006, Mr. Gabriel T. Babalola was returned as the National President for a final three-year term, following the amendment to the Association’s Constitution on tenure of officers.
Thus, on 30th May, 2009, at the 11th National Delegates’ Conference, Mr. Tunde Abdulrahman of Nigerian Bottling Company Plc who was the Deputy National President was elected as the National President for a first term of three (3) years; and at the 12th National Delegates’ Conference which was held on 26th May, 2012, Mr. Tunde Abdulrahman, mni, was re-elected as the National President of the Association for a final three-year term. On Saturday 23rd May, 2015, the Association elected, a new National President in person of Comrade Quadri Adewunmi Olaleye, the Vice President, Western Zone from Nestle Nigeria Plc during its 13th National Delegates’ Conference for a single term of five (5) years. However, the Association held an Extra-Ordinary Delegates Conference on 25th January, 2019 when the Constitution and Rules of the Association was reviewed for a three-year term that is renewable for a second term of three years. The amendment to the Constitution allowed the then President, Comrade Quadri Olaleye to serve for a total period of six (6) years.
The National Delegates’ Conference of the Association held in Abuja on Saturday, 29th May, 2022, produced Comrade Jimoh Oyibo as the President of the Association for the first term of three (3) years.
A FOBTOB journey was full of struggles having metamorphosed from an Association formed by three (3) companies to a full-fledged union with over seven thousand (7,000) members. It started as a company-based union, the founding fathers having realized that the strength of the union lies in the number struggled to form a senior staff union was an indication that irrespective of job schedule or grading, workers must be placed at an advantage position to fight for the rights of the workers as the world of work is predominantly full of the bourgeois. The Association celebrated its Fortieth Anniversary amidst pomp and pageantry on Friday, 25th October, 2018.