Business Hilights
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Osinbajo opens N4.1b new Nestlé factory, enjoins FCMG producers to take cue

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, last week, called on other manufacturers of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FCMG) in the country to take a cue from Nestlé Plc’s expansion drive to domicile their factories in Nigeria, saying the country remains the preferred destination for investment in Africa.

Giving the advise while inaugurating Nestlé Nigeria Plc’s N4.1 billion Milo-Ready-to-Drink (RTD) factory at Agbara in Ogun, Osinbajo said “We are grateful to Nestlé for these significant investments, particularly for locating its factories in rural communities and sourcing its raw materials from local farmers, contributing to the sustainable development of Nigeria”.

According to him, the Federal Government was now, more committed to creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive as part of drive to meet the objectives of its Economic and Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) of the government.

Osinbajo stressed that government is already facilitating private sector growth and sustainable development through increased investment in infrastructure and ease of doing business.

In his submission, Vice President noted that “This new plant is a reflection of the continued confidence the industry has in the robustness of our economy”.

“The business climate reforms undertaken under PEBEC have already begun to bear some fruit and reflect that Nigeria is committed to creating an enabling environment to facilitate private sector-led growth and development. Many, of course, will recall that in October, 2017, the World Bank released its flagship “Doing Business” report for 2018. In that report, Nigeria moved up by an unprecedented 24 places, and for the first time the country was also recognized as one of the top 10 most improved economies in the world.

“This result shows the power of collaboration across various levels of government, especially in the reform areas such as getting credit, where we are now ranked 6th out of 190 countries due to our enhanced legal framework, with the potential to unlock credit to small and medium-scale enterprises by giving added comfort to lenders.

Osinbajo recalled further that “Last week, PEBEC announced a National Action Plan (NAP 3.0), which commenced on February 5 and will run until April 5, 2018. This accelerated intervention programme will focus on implementing some of the most relevant ease of doing business reforms that have ever come within our radar within the next two months”.

Earlier in his address of welcome, the Managing Director of Nestle Nigeria, Mr. Mauricio Alarcon, said the new plant was in demonstration of Nestle’s confidence in Nigeria especially now we are sourcing 80 per cent of inputs from local farmers and investing in rural communities’ development.

He said Nestlé creates Shared Value for all, by providing jobs and adding value to Nigeria’s industrial ratings.

According to him, “The new Nestlé Milo RTD is complementing the existing range of offerings of our iconic Milo brand”.

“It is conveniently packaged to offer the unique Milo taste and meet the nutrition needs of active children on the go. This is in line with the company’s commitments to enable healthier and happier lives.

While assuring that Nestle would continue to invest in people, innovation and enhancing quality of life and health for sustainable future, Alarcon averred that Nestlé Milo had built a rich heritage in Nigeria as the food drink of champions.

Business Hilights recalls that Milo had been driving participation in grassroots sports through various programmes, including the Nestle Milo Basketball Championships in Nigeria for decades.