Emmanuel Ugwu, Umuahia
With the return of the famous beer brand in the south-east, Golden Guinea, stakeholders are upbeat that it will have a positive impact on the economy of Abia State.
Golden Guinea Breweries Plc went under in 2003, following the fatal explosion of one of its boilers with no efforts made to revive the public owned company hitherto owned by the five states of the region.
However, after years of attempt to revive the company established by the defunct eastern region, the current core investor of Golden Guinea has now returned into the market and it’s expected to fight for its market share
Abia Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, was caught up in the excitement generated by Golden Guinea’s return when the management of Golden Guinea Breweries Plc visited the Abia chief executive to thank him for the support he gave the company to turn it around.
He told the delegation led by Chief Okey Nzenwa, that the reintroduction of Abia brewed beer into the Nigerian beer market was, “a huge sign of good times ahead for the economy of the state”.
According to him, the day the beer popularly known as oyoyo mmi ( exquisite brew) was presented to him was his “happiest day in 2019”, adding that the brewery and its products has both profound historical and economic significance for the people and economy of Abia state.
Ikpeazu noted that the multiplier effect of the return of Golden Guinea would be felt in the areas of creating new direct and indirect jobs, new markets, fresh capital inflow and taxes to the state government.
He recalled that the company was the pride of the South-east in the 1960s through to the early 2000s before the company went under.
“From now on in Abia, it’s Golden Guinea beer before others,” Ikpeazu declared, adding that “our people will happily embrace the product as their own”.
The governor paid glowing tributes to the vision of the late Premier of the former Eastern Region(now comprising South-east and South-south regions), Dr. Michael Okpara, who founded the company, adding that Chief Okey Ezenwa deserved enough commendation for his courage in ensuring the revival of Golden Guinea.
He further stated that the people of Umuahia the host city of the brewery, had a special bond with the beer, hence when the company collapsed “the effervescence of Umuahia” went with it.
The Abia chief executive said he was optimistic that Golden Guinea would bring back the effervescence of the capital city “will return in full force” and spread to the Southeast and Nigerian beer market in general.
He expressed delight that Golden Guinea has come back to life during his time as governor, noting that his administration “gave every necessary support to the efforts to return the brewery to full production”.
Earlier, the chairman of Golden Guinea Breweries Plc, Nzenwa told the governor that they were in Government House to officially inform him that the long process of retooling the company had been completed and that production and commercial sales of their products had commenced.
Describing the revived brewery as “Ikpeazu’s baby” the company chairman profusely thanked the governor for his relentless efforts in bringing the beer back to the market.