By Our Reporter
British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, has commended Guinness Nigeria’s commitment to high quality standards and innovation in the Nigerian brewery industry as demonstrated by the company’s robust and diverse product portfolio and manufacturing facilities.
Arkwright said this during a tour of the Ogba brewery of Guinness Nigeria, located in Ikeja, Lagos. The tour lends credence to Guinness Nigeria’s status as a preeminent Nigerian company with roots in the United Kingdom and demonstrates a firm belief in the Nigerian business by the British government.
Speaking on the relationship between Britain and Guinness Nigeria, Arkwright noted that, “Guinness Nigeria has been here since 1962 when the very first brewery was built which shows the very long history between the UK, Diageo, a proud British company and the Nigerian market. During the tour, I noticed one of the plaques where the factory was unveiled by a former British Minister for Africa, Mr. Henry Bellingham. That’s a very good example of the solid partnership that has continued to wax strong over the years.”
Arkwright further commended Guinness on the cleanliness of the facility, the modern machinery being used as well as the due observance of safety protocols and regulation.
“I am amazed at the cleanliness, the technical sophistication and the adherence to health and safety guidelines, which is a very good example of commitment to quality and environmental protection. Guinness Nigeria already employs lots of people here in Nigeria and they are looking at doing more, which provides an excellent example of how British companies are working with local partners to create jobs, stimulate economic activities and create a win-win situation for all stakeholders. It’s also heartwarming to see Guinness Nigeria drive innovation in the brewery industry, having just launched Orijin Zero, an absolutely brilliant drink,” Arkwright enthused.
In his welcome remark, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Guinness Nigeria Plc, Peter Ndegwa, who was represented by the Corporate Relations Director, Sesan Sobowale, expressed the company’s delight at the visit which he said had afforded the company an opportunity to showcase its commitment to the industrial and economic development of Nigeria.
Responding to the High Commissioner’s impression of the factory, Sobowale noted that Guinness Nigeria has been here for sixty –six years as an incorporated company having been profiled as the largest British company listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. “We have a large reputation, as such, the Commissioner came to witness first hand if the reality matches the enviable reputation that we have built over the years, and it is pleasing to see that he was not disappointed,” said Sobowale.
Furthermore, Sobowale welcomed the future entry of other British brands into the Nigerian market. “Our commitment to quality shines through everything that we do, which is why Nigerians love and adore our brands. It is our belief and expectation that this relationship would grow stronger and that the High Commissioner would gladly share the great things which he has seen today with other British firms that are interested in investing in Nigeria.”