For a business that strictly adheres to global practice, upholds ethical principles, supports good causes, employs thousands, Guinness Nigeria Plc, a subsidiary of Diageo Plc will definitely occupy a pre-eminent position when the list of organizations promoting Nigeriaâ€™s socio-economic development is drawn. Since its incorporation in 1950, commencing with the Ikeja Brewery in 1963, the company has continued to expand its footprints on Nigeriaâ€™s socio-economic landscape. Through its compliance to corporate governance, the economic value that the company generates in terms fiscal contribution to the government at all levels is noteworthy.
Over the years, Guinness Nigeria Plc has made great strides in the area of community investment, especially through its Water of Life initiative, which provides safe drinking water to millions of Nigerians across several rural communities. The company has also helped in raising the standard of education across board through various youth empowerment schemes and capacity building initiatives that enable the less privileged students to have access to qualitative education. Recognizing that health is critical to economic development, and that without sound health, not much can be achieved; Guinness Nigeria Plc took the decision to make health one of its strategic sustainability pillars. Some years back, the company partnered with select tertiary institutions in Nigeria to improve eye health care. This informed the establishment of Guinness Eye Hospitals in three major cities â€“ Lagos, Onitsha and Benin. The company has continued to maintain these eye clinics as part of its commitment to promoting high quality healthcare in the country.
Unemployment has been a socio-economic factor confronting Sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria. The company, in its strategic sustainability objectives, has put access to gainful employment in its front burner to address this issue. Through consistent provision of direct and indirect employment, Guinness Nigeria Plc has significantly helped in reducing the growing rate of unemployment in Nigeria. Also, it provides an enabling environment, which directly provides employment for over 1000 Nigerians, thereby creating the necessary job satisfaction, and raising the standard of living of many people. In addition to direct employment, the company provides jobs for over 10,000 people working with various vendors, partners and stakeholders along its value chain.
More importantly, Guinness Nigeria Plc, through its backward integration agenda, has demonstrated its dedication and commitment to promoting local content by leading its industry in sourcing of its raw materials locally. Thus, this move has significantly helped in transforming the businesses and livelihoods of several smallholder farmers who grow the grains the company uses for its production. It is noteworthy that Guinness Nigeria Plcâ€™s direct and indirect contribution to job creation is essentially driven by purchases in industries such as agriculture, packaging and logistics as well as induced employment in hospitality and retail sectors.
Another area Guinness Nigeria Plc has scored a major point is in the area of its fiscal contribution to the government. Since inception of its business operations, the company has continued to demonstrate an uncompromising commitment to promoting economic development through compliance with corporate governance that promotes economic development. In its 2016 financial year, it made payments to the tune of N13billion in taxes, including Value Added Tax (VAT), employee tax, corporate income tax, excise duties, among other taxes. With over 900 registered vendors, it has also contributed hugely to the growth of several businesses, with payments in excess of billions.
Commenting on its overall economic contribution to the nation, Peter Ndegwa, Managing Director/CEO, Guinness Nigeria Plc reiterated the companyâ€™s commitment to developing the socio-economic development of the nation, while also lauding the present administrationâ€™s doggedness, resilience, and determination in bringing the nationâ€™s economy out of the recession as recently announced.
He said: â€œWe are proud of our contribution to the Nigerian economy and we remain positive that as we grow our business, we will continue to extend our economic impact even further.â€
In December 2015, Guinness Nigeria Plc became the first total beverage alcohol company in Nigeria when it acquired the rights to distribute International Premium Spirits (IPS) including Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky and Baileyâ€™s liqueur in Nigeria. This was quickly followed in January 2016 by the acquisition of the rights to distribute McDowellâ€™s, a United Spirits Limited (USL) whisky brand. In November 2016, the company invested N4.7billion in a spirits line for locally manufactured spirits which we commissioned in Benin. These strategic acquisitions and expansions have filled the gaps in the spirits brand base allowing Guinness to compete across all categories of the alcoholic beverage market in Nigeria.
Guinness Nigeria Plc, through its action and interaction with its critical stakeholders, some of which include: consumers, customers, suppliers, among others, have shown its strong belief in the socio-economic development of the country. Also, as a business that prides itself following its great strides in the areas of peerless fiscal contribution and massive job creation, among other factors, Guinness Nigeria Plc has also displayed sterling leadership qualities through its self-regulatory initiatives that provide the benchmark for other industry players.