To optimise cost and reduce expenditure on importation of raw materials, Nigerian Breweries Plc has embarked on test trials of barley in Kano State and exploring other measures that would drive import substitution in the country.
According to the brewer, a sustainable plan and action are needed to drive the progress recorded in the area of raw material sourcing.
Similarly, the brewer stated that it would continue to intensify the recycling of used bottles having aided cost optimisation and its sustainability commitment, adding that efforts are underway to increase consumer awareness while setting up an aggregation hub in Lagos to increase sensitization.
It also added that it hopes to extend its solar energy plan to its Aba and Kaduna breweries in line with the country’s sustainable agenda.
Data from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), showed that utilization of local raw materials by manufacturers in the second half of 2020 declined to 56.5% as against 64% recorded in the corresponding half of 2019; thus, indicating 7.5 percentage point decline over the period.
Utilisation also declined by 1.9 percentage point when compared with 58.4% recorded in the first half of the year. Local raw-materials utilization in the sector declined to 57.45% in 2020 from 60.5% recorded in 2019.
With over N36 billion spent on capital investment for its operations across the country during the 2020 financial year, the Managing Director, Jordi Borrut Bel during the pre-annual general meeting briefing of the company, noted that its operations in 2020 were adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, VAT increase, FX devaluation and scarcity of foreign exchange.
Bel stated that the investments include the construction of a PET line inaugurated at Ijebu Ode Plant, the Ibadan Brewery Solar Power project among others.
He affirmed that Nigerian Breweries Plc remains a great believer in the Nigerian economy and would continue to play its part by investing to create more employment opportunities and contribute to the nation’s economic growth.
“The 2020 financial year was a remarkable one for us as it allowed us to invest heavily and position for growth. It was a year we invested in a new PET Line for non-alcoholic drinks at our Ijebu Ode Plant. In the same year, we embarked on some other important projects which boosted the capacities of our business”, he said
Bel further explained that the huge investment in its business operations amidst the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the company’s determination to stay afloat and remain strong in the interest of all its stakeholders.
“Though the outbreak of COVID-19 adversely affected the global economy and impacted businesses negatively, our company was able to weather the storm and stay afloat in the face of the challenge. This could not have been possible without our resolve as a business to invest in our operations which contributed to the improved performance witnessed across our products portfolio,” he added.
In terms of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Bel also stated that the company contributed immensely to communities and the country at large – donating N600 million to the Federal and some state governments, as part of efforts to support the fight against COVID-19, while also continuing its social investments in the areas of education, health, access to potable water, environment, youth and women empowerment in different parts of the country.
He assured stakeholders that the company remains committed to not only keeping its balance sheet strong but ensuring that the health, safety, and welfare of its employees, customers, and partners are protected.