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Nigerian Breweries (NB) Plc seems to dominate the brewery market as it accounts for 60 per cent of the brewery market share in Nigeria.Managing Director/CEO, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Michiel Herkemij disclosed this to Vanguard shortly after the pre 63rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos last week.
He stated that NB is trying to build long term capability for its people in order to sustain its market leadership in the country. According to him, “ The contribution of Nigerian Breweries Plc (NB Plc) to the overall result of Heineken should be about less than 10 percent (10%). I think it is fair to say that any company worldwide that is contributing to the results of Heineken is contributing less than 10% of the total result.”
He said “ We have come to stay in Nigeria. We are not investing here in vein as we continue to upgrade our breweries. In the area of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Nigerian Breweries is not lacking. The projects executed in year 2008 were all massive, the amount of funds involved is very huge; however, we may not disclose the exact percentage of turnover spent on CSR; but relative to other companies in this country, we are a role model in our CSR activities and would continue to be so in years ahead. In the CSR we focus not only on the boreholes that you see, but we also focus on education. There is an Education Trust Fund (ETF) that we operate; where on a yearly basis alone there is N100 million actually thrown back to the society.”
While commenting on the impact of the global financial crisis on the company, Herkemij said “ Nobody can deny that there is a meltdown and a global recession actually going on , even including us in Nigerian Breweries. We would not deny that. You can also see there is an impact of this in Nigeria. The country’s oil revenue from the Federal Government (FG) continue to drop. At local and state level, you see projects suffering. he Naira also has depreciated and these have impacted on a lot of companies; especially those ones that are fully dependent on imported materials for production, they are suffering big time. You see interest rates going up in the country astronomically about 22% to 23% which is worrying.”
To this extent, the NB boss noted that there is a recession going on and Nigeria like any other country is feeling the impact now. “One thing that we think, which we have seen over the years within Africa is that Africa is more resilient, better and equipped in dealing with crisis;
in this country there are not so many people that are actually living above their standards; because it is a desperate society, when you go to Europe, or to America everybody has huge loans opportunity and you might borrow three times more than your salary. ow imagine when this drops you are in big trouble. But in this country, there is nothing like that; people are used to spend only what they have,” He added.
So with this scenario you can see that we are not totally affected because people demand what they can pay for.” he added. Nigerian Breweries Plc, the pioneer and largest brewing company in Nigeria was incorporated in 1946 and recorded a landmark when the first bottle of Star Lager Beer rolled off the bottling lines in Lagos Brewery in June 1946.