By Vanessa Obioha
After months of planning and re-strategising, Unilever Nigeria,Â officially opened its state-of-the-art Blue Band factory at Agbara Industrial Estate, Ogun State. Built with innovative manufacturing technology, the â‚¬10 million factory complements governmentâ€™s efforts at boosting local investment and making significant contributions to the nationâ€™s economic growth and development. The factory unofficially started production in September.
During the launch, The Executive Vice President, Unilever Ghana Nigeria, Yaw Nsarkoh, said that the Blue Band factory was the latest addition to the various long-term investments Unilever had made in Nigeria, which would not have been possible without the support of all its stakeholders.
â€œPrior to the siting of this factory we have also had cause to exploit economies of scale and ensure consistent access to reliable sources of raw material input. I am delighted that the result of our painstaking efforts and the support we enjoy from our stakeholders has led to the commissioning of an ultra-modern Blue Band factory today,â€ he said.
Speaking further, Yaw said “to sustainably serve our consumers, the new Blue Band factory is equipped with the Fast Blending technology. This technology uses 50% less energy compared to other manufacturing processes that utilise heat exchangers. This recapitulates our commitment to decouple the growth of our business from environmental impact.
Yaw expressed interest on the success story in Nigeria, saying that it was the collective goal of the UnileverÂ Partner to Win conference which was held recently in Abidjan, Cote D’ivore. “The Partner to Win conference was about how we could share the success story in Nigeria because I believe very passionately in the Africa opportunity and the whole idea of dependenceÂ on theÂ African economy must buildÂ competitive advantage so that they can access prosperity and take the civilisation of Africa to the place we want it to be in the future. But in order to do that, there has to be an economically competitive ecosystem. Disregard all the stories that you hear and see the examples of global businesses that can come into the country and make it a success.”
Commending Unilever Nigeria at the launch, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, described Unilever as a company that has shown and demonstrated confidence in the Nigerian economy through its continuous investment drive in the country. â€œThe siting of this factory could not have come at a better time than this. With this development, you have shown resilience amidst the challenges that you face in running a business of this size. I commend you for this initiative and as a government, we will continue to make deliberate efforts to support and encourage companies to invest in Nigeria through our policies. This is the only way we can grow this economy and create employ opportunities for Nigerians,â€ he said.
Also, speaking at the launch, the Executive Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, said, â€œWe must commend the efforts of Unilever Nigeria for their unrelenting resolve and commitment to Nigeriaâ€™s economy through their investment activities. There is no doubt that this will impact on the socio-economic development of the nation as a whole.â€
Blue Band, is a trusted and ideal brand among families for spreading on bread, cooking and baking. With the production of the product locally, its availability will be enhanced to meet the needs of consumers and customers.