Lagos, Feb. 3, 2024: The British American Tobacco Nigeria (BAT Nigeria) has expressed a strong belief in the country’s significant potential, saying it is fully invested in it and wants to be true partners to its growth agenda.
Yarub Al-Bahrani, the Managing Director, BAT Nigeria, West and Central Africa, made this known at a news conference on Friday in Lagos.
The conference was to celebrate its factory’s 20th year of manufacturing excellence in Ibadan, Nigeria.
Al-Bahrani said the factory, established in 2003, with investments worth over $185 million, had been a cornerstone of the company’s operations in the West and Centreal Africa region.
He said the company recently started exporting to the United States of America, returning hard foreign exchange worth millions of dollars to the Nigerian economy.
Al-Bahrani said the company would continue to invest in Nigeria’s ecosystem, the people, and the environment via its various Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices.
“Two decades ago, we embarked on a journey to establish a world-class manufacturing facility in Nigeria, and today, we are proud to celebrate the Ibadan factory as a shining example of our commitment to excellence and sustainability in Nigeria.
“The factory has played a pivotal role in our success, contributing significantly to the Nigerian economy, creating employment opportunities across the value chain, and promoting environmental stewardship.
“For the Nigerian economy, there are tough choices but going forward, the country would reap the rewards as we believe in the significant potential of Nigeria.
“Economically, things would get better and we would continue to invest and partner with the government while they continue to invest in business friendly policies,” he said.
Al-Bahrani said the company beyond its commercial success had been a champion of environmental sustainability.
According to him, the factory has implemented a comprehensive environmental management system, incorporating stringent measures to reducing its carbon footprint.
These efforts, he noted, have resulted in significant reductions in energy consumption, water usage, and waste generation.
“The Factory has gained recognition for its commitment to environmental sustainability, highlighted by its recent setup of a 1.4MWP grid-tied solar panel system scheduled to be unveiled on Feb.6, 2024,” he said.
Kola Karim, Chairman, Advisory Board, BAT, said the company’s milestone signified a landmark event for its inward investment in the Nigerian landscape.
Karim said the company committed itself to use the country as a hub for manufacturing, production and exports thereby significantly contributing to its economy.
“The investment is creating additional jobs, industrial support, payment of taxes and also providing socioeconomic support via its various Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives,” he said.
Also, Director, External Affairs, BAT, West, and Central Africa, Odiri Erewa-Meggison, asserted that the company had remained steadfast in its commitment to driving A Better Tomorrow.
She said the Ibadan factory was not just a manufacturing facility; but an integral part of the Nigerian community, continuously committed to making a positive impact on the lives of those around it.
Odiri said the company would continue to partner with Small and Medium Enterprises to recycle goods into household items as part of its CSR and ESG practices.
“We would continue to expand and give back to the community we generate our revenue from.
“Being a market leader, we are setting a pace and want to continue to work with the government to show that it is possible to come to Nigeria and run a sustainable business profitably,” she said.
Odiri added that the 20th anniversary celebration would serve as a tribute to the accomplishments and successes of the factory while expressing gratitude for the partnerships formed over the years with various stakeholders.
“This is an opportunity to acknowledge the dedication and hard work of all employees, partners, and stakeholders who have played a vital role in shaping our growth and journey.
“We look forward to celebrating more milestones and positive contributions of the factory,” she said.