Raheem Akingbolu writes on how the Nigerian Bottling Company’s campus recruitment drive can inspire excellence among Nigerian undergraduates
After going through the rigorous tertiary academic exercise for 4 – 5 years or 7 years for medical students, it is the hope and aspiration of every single graduate to secure a good job immediately after their graduation and upon successful completion of the compulsory one-year National YouthService Corps (NYSC) programme.In the 70’s and early 80’s, it was almost automatic for graduates to get jobs after graduation. In some cases, some of them might have about 3 to 4organisations to choose from and may have to seek guidance from other experienced individuals to make the right choice.
History has it that companies, including multinationals and blue-chip organisations usually fall over themselves trying to recruit the best of final year students in tertiary institutions but it seems the reverse is now the case. Many Nigerian undergraduates especially those in their final year now live in the fear and uncertainty of what would become of them after leaving their respective institutions of higher learning, as many who graduated before them are still in the labour market searching for a job. This has been identified as a very severe challenge in the country’s youth development and engagement system with no long-lasting remedy over the years, as the country’s unemployment rate skyrockets to 13.3% in 2016, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Just when it seems like all hope is lost, the Campus Recruitment Drive of the Nigerian Bottling Company Limited (NBC) is rekindling hopes of Nigerian undergraduate and inspiring them to strive for academic excellence and have a unique opportunity of building a world class career in a world class environment like NBC, a member of Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company. Being the bottler of the global iconic brand- Coca-Cola, Nigerian Bottling Company Limited (NBC) remains one of the major organisations that is a great place to start and grow a successful career by Nigerian undergraduates.
The NBC Campus Recruitment Drive started over a decade ago and is aimed at providing a unique opportunity for undergraduates who are highfliers and are passionate about building a world-class career in a world-class organisation. This initiative has also been identified as a unique platform to attract the best and to support the Company’s transformation agenda into 2020 and beyond. One of the key factors to realising that vision of the company is human resources (people) that would drive the vision.
The 2016 NBC Campus Recruitment Drive events were held in some Nigerian universities – University of Benin, Edo State (UNIBEN), University of Lagos (UNILAG) and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (ABU). Themed – Careers with NBC & Life Success after Graduation, the event witnessed large turnout of students from various faculties and provided an opportunity for students to interact with top management executives from NBC, as well as to learn about the company and its well-loved brands.
Plan for expansion
Not relenting, the company has said that this is just one of the many ways it intends to contribute to the development of youths in Nigeria, promising that it would continually invest in the development of Nigeria’s human resource capacity through various initiatives in order to attract and retain the best quality of individuals available across the country.
NBC’s Public Affairs Manager, East & Central Region, Mr. Ekuma Eze revealed that the Company is expanding the capacity of its production facilities in order to meet up with the demands of consumers and the resulting market growth. “Currently, there is a need to inject new talent and employees to drive the actualization of NBC vision; hence a great opportunity the Career Fair offers for undergraduates to join NBC after fulfilling necessary academic requirements expected for their various degree programmes”.
Speaking during one of events, held at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), NBC Public Affairs Manager, Lagos and West Region, Ifeoma Okoye explained that the NBC Campus Recruitment Drive is conceptualized to attract, retain young talents and groom them to attain the highest height of their chosen career. She stated that the platform is designed to prepare and empower students with the basic knowledge required to cope with the demands of a standard working environment.
While engaging the participants in the institutions of higher learning, NBC Talent Resourcing Manager, Ayodele Olowosejeje, stressed that the Company is committed to welcoming new talents, developing employees and engaging people from outside as part of its organizational renewal.
Top ranking officials from the universities, commended NBC for bringing the career expo to their institutions, and that their students were privileged to benefit from the magnanimity of the Company’s noteworthy gesture. All the Deans present at the various career expos acclaimed that, NBC would be a great place for the graduating students to start and grow a fulfilling career, after fulfilling necessary academic requirements for their various degree programmes.
As an equal opportunity employer, NBC promotes diversity and sound workplace practices, providing livelihood to many in its value chain. The NBC Campus Career Expo is aimed at engaging young talents in different institutions of higher learning across the country and offers them great opportunities to build their career. As a sign of confidence in the country’s educational system, NBC has continued to make strategic investments in improving the standard of basic education, while positioning itself as an employer of choice.
Another noteworthy initiative of NBC in getting the best as part of its people is the Company’s Management Trainee Scheme, which is part of Coca-Cola Hellenic’s strategic focus around talent acquisition and development. NBC therefore recruits the very best into its management trainee programme, where young talented individuals are selected after a series of rigorous assessments based on specific selection criteria.
In addition to encouraging and driving excellence amongst students and university undergraduates, NBC is also fully committed to supporting the Nigerian youths at different levels, starting from the primary and secondary levels, up to the tertiary and vocational levels, to become self-sufficient and develop their entrepreneurial mindset. The Company’s youth empowerment initiatives have reached tens of thousands in the last five years. All of which have received numerous commendations at different times from various stakeholder groups, including awards from the Lagos State Government ‘Support our School Initiative’.
Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Ltd is the franchise bottler and distributor for The Coca-Cola Company in Nigeria. The company was incorporated in November 1951 and is a member of Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company A.G, an anchor bottler for The Coca-Cola Company in 28 countries in North, Central and South Europe, Asia and in Africa, with over 570 million consumers in these markets. As the pioneer bottler in the group, NBC prides itself as the bedrock of Coca-Cola Hellenic. NBC is headquartered in Ebute-Meta, Lagos and operates 11 bottling plants, 28 commercial territories and over 50 distribution depots across the country.