Philip Morris Limited (PML), the national affiliate of Philip Morris International (PMI) in Nigeria, has entered into a strategic partnership with the International Tobacco Company Limited (ITC) to manufacture one of PMIâ€™s leading brands in Nigeria.
Under this agreement, PML would invest in technology and capacity building at ITCâ€™s factory, creating additional employment opportunities and contributing to the local as well as national economy of Nigeria.
An official launch to mark the start of local manufacturing was held at ITCâ€™s factory at Ilorin, Kwara State on Wednesday.
PMLâ€™s Managing Director, Coskun Kagan Dicle, told THISDAY that they strongly believe investing in local manufacturing is the right thing for the future as it contributes to the Nigerian governmentâ€™s efforts to strengthen the economy and reduce the dependency on oil adding that it will also benefit all parties.
â€œOur consumers will have their preferred brand readily available at the highest quality standards, our partners will enjoy improved capacity utilisation of their facilities, and the local community will benefit from the micro-economy boost and new employment opportunities.
â€œWe are here to provide a choice to those consumers who choose to continue to smoke, and we are here to make a positive contribution to the Nigerian economy for the long term.â€
He went on to highlight the giant stride that PML has made in less than two years of operations in Nigeria, attributing it to PMIâ€™s global strategy to deliver long-term sustainable growth and the passion of local employees.
Dicle further added that the start of local manufacturing is just the beginning of various planned investments in the Nigerian economy by PML.
He noted: â€œPML and ITC are eager to become an integral part of Nigeriaâ€™s drive to strengthen the economy through creation of jobs, more foreign direct investment, and tax payments, while upholding the highest standards as socially responsible companies.â€