•Lauds NB’s N5.1bn investments, export strategy project
The Federal Government has said it would increase support for local producers to boost the manufacturing sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics show that the manufacturing sector, in the third quarter (Q3) of 2020, recorded a growth of 13.54 per cent (year-on-year), -26.15 per cent points lower than figure recorded in the corresponding period of 2019 (39.69 per cent), and 13.68 per cent points higher than the preceding quarter’s figure of -0.14%. Quarter-on-quarter (Q/Q) growth of the sector was 32.13%.
According to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, supporting and encouraging local manufacturers is essential if the productive sector would become Africa’s preferred manufacturing hub.
The minister stated this at the unveiling of the new ultra-modern automated PET line built by Nigerian Breweries (NB) Plc, in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.
He noted that the commissioning shows the commitment of Nigeria Breweries to Nigeria and its industrialisation drive, saying that it is also a reassurance that fruitful opportunities exist in Nigeria.
He added that 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.
“We are confident that the commissioning of this plant will bring about economic opportunities for the state and contribute to the non-oil sector of the GDP. This is even more critical as we seek to diversify the economy,” he said.
He pointed out that the company plays a strategic role as a key investor in the Nigerian economy, leveraging its pedigree and commitment to adopting the latest technology designed with world-class safety and quality standards.
The Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, commended the company for its commitment to investing in Nigeria despite the harsh business environment, reiterating the state’s commitment to creating an enabling business environment for businesses to thrive.
He noted that the state government is putting infrastructure in place to drive industrialisation, identifying infrastructure as a key driver to attracting local and foreign investments into the country.
The Chairman, NB, Kola Jamodu, said that the construction of the production line was conceived in order to deepen the availability of non-alcoholic product portfolio of the company and that the addition of the bottling line has increased the capacity of the company.
In his words: “Our partnership with the state government has seen us invest over N1.6 billion in various community projects and social investments in the areas of education, health, potable water, environment, youth and women empowerment.
The Managing Director of the company, Jordi Borrut Bel, said the PET line worth N5 billion is coming at a time of Covid-19-triggered uncertainty, which has made businesses wary of making final investment decisions (FID).
He said despite this, the company is optimistic that the uncertainty would give way to certainty, stressing that with the right economic policies, private sector investments will continue to have a home in the country, providing refreshment and happiness to Nigerians.
He added that the commissioning would increase the company’s production capacity of non-alcoholic drinks.
“It is expected to produce 24,000 bottles per hour designed with the latest technology which meets world-class and safety standards. The plant would also serve as a strategic point for our plans to export our drinks outside Nigeria to West Africa and beyond.
“It will not only satisfy the refreshment needs of Nigeria but also introduce quality made-in-Nigeria products to new audiences abroad. It is also a win-win for everybody as it means more job opportunities for residents of the state, more businesses for our suppliers and local partners, more opportunities for our staff and ultimately more revenue to government”, he added.