Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
Nestle Nigeria Plc has unveiled its new ultra modern waters factory built at the cost of N5.6 billion.
At the opening ceremony in Abaji, on the outskirt of Abuja, Federal Capital Capital Territory (FCT), the company’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Dharnesh Gordon, said the inauguration of the water plant in the North will create over 111 new jobs for Nigerians living within the FCT.
He said the factory, which is the third in the country and the first in major in the north underpins its strong belief in the potential of the Nigerian economy in spite of the current volatile business environment.
According to him, the commissioning also showed that Nigeria remains Africa’s investment destination of choice, adding: “We can look back on a long and successful history of Nestle in the country and we are proud to remain a major contributor to the food industry in the country.
“Our company has been present in Nigeria for 55 years, and we are pleased that our operations are not only measurable in length of time, but more importantly, also by the positive impact it brings to the communities where we operate.”
He said the company was committed to continue to bring significant value to society at large by sourcing locally, creating employment, and offering high quality, nutritious foods beverages with the aim of helping Nigeria develop further.
In a remark, the Chairman of the board of directors, Mr. David Ifezulike, expressed gratitude to the Bank of Industry (BoI), through First City Monument Bank FCMB, for providing the company long term financial support to establish the Abaji factory, the first in the Northern part of the country.
According to Ifezulike, Nestle Nigeria is proud to be the pioneering multinational company in Abaji, adding that experience from its Agbara and Flowergate factories in Ogun state as in other parts of the world shows that Nestle factories drive rural development.
He said: “The developmental effects of our factories over time translates into new businesses, investment and infrastructure and make their once locations increasingly urban or industrialized in nature.
“Such an effect takes time to evolve. A factory is a long term investment, but as rural factories expand, they have many touch points with society: from employment creation and infrastructure to environment management, training, education and community.”
He admitted that the Abaji manufacturing operations will not only have a positive long term impact on local economy, but will also improve the standards of living of the people in Abaji and neighboring communities.