Last week, Nigeria’s foremost brewing company, the Nigerian Breweries (NB) Plc, commissioned its N5 billion Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) line at its Ijebu-Ode Brewery plant meant to produce 24,000 bottles of non-alcoholic drinks per hour at a period many local firms are cutting down on investments post-COVID-19. TAIWO HASSAN reports
Basically, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) had emphatically said that operating in Nigerian business environment was tough following infrastructure challenge, fiscal/monetary challenge and the novel COVID-19 impacts on manufacturing sector. Indeed, the above manufacturing constraints have made many local firms relapse into cutting down their investments and revenue projections. However, in face of the uncertainty, Nigerian Breweries Plc, towards catalysing its brewing business, took a bold step with the commissioning of a whopping N5 billion ultra modern PET line at its Ijebu-Ode plant.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony of the bottling line in Ijebu-Ode, Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, told the audience that Nigerian Breweries had made Nigeria and the Federal Government proud with the gigantic investment at this period of uncertainty in the economy as it will not only create massive jobs for the teeming youths but also accelerate the country’s economic recovery to exit recession. Adebayo also said the commissioning showed the commitment of the company to Nigeria and their industrialisation drive to make Nigeria a hub of investment in sub-Saharan African (SSA) market. He said it was a reassurance that fruitful opportunities existed in Nigerian economic growth and business expansion, adding that it would bring considerable value to the company and the Nigerian economy as a whole. The minister said: “The timing of the event is auspicious for the nation and a vital platform for providing an enabling environment for businesses to grow and even more importantly, creating job opportunities for the nation’s teeming unemployed youths.”
NB’s Board Chairman’s
The Nigerian Breweries Plc’s Chairman, Board of Directors and Executive Committee, Chief Kola Jamodu, in his welcome remarks, noted that the construction of the production line was conceived in order to deepen the availability of non-alcoholic product portfolio in the company and that the addition of the bottling line meant that the company now has capacity to meet current demand of its customers. The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nigerian Breweries Plc, Jordi Borrut, said that the commissioned plant was built at a cost of N5 billion. He explained that the PET line was expected to produce 24,000 bottles per hour (mostly the Maltina Classic, Vanilla and pineapple variants, Amstel Malta and Hi-Malt) and designed with the latest technology that meets world-class safety and quality standards. According to him, the company’s new automated PET line came at a time of great uncertainty in the Nigeria’s economy, where the threat of COVID-19 has made many businesses wary of making such huge capital investments.
He, however, added that Nigerian Breweries Plc has been operating in Nigeria for over 70 years and still hope to do more in the years to come. “Despite this, we remain confident and optimistic that the uncertainty of today will give way to certainty, and that the right decisions and policies, companies such as ours will continue to have a home in Nigeria, providing refreshment and happiness to millions of men, women and children through our beer, malt and soft drinks,” the NB’s MD said. In his remarks, the Executive Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, commended the efforts of Nigerian Breweries Plc in committing huge resources to the expansion of production lines in the factory. “As you are aware, Nigerian Breweries Plc remains one of the largest taxpayers because two of their major plants are located in Ogun state; one in Ijebu-Ode and another in Ota. “This is indeed a welcome development for the people of Ogun state given the economic potentials attached to this investment. For us, we are quite confident that this investment would, no doubt, assist in enhancing economic prosperity not only for the community but Ogun state as a whole,” the governor stated.
With the multi-billion naira new automated PET line, Nigerian Breweries has shown its unflinching support for Nigeria’s manufacturing sector and economy in general with its indelible footnotes.