L-R: President, Africa, Unilever, Mr. Bruno Witvoet; Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki; Managing Director, Unilever Nigeria Plc, Mr. Yaw Nsarkoh; Chairman, Senate Committee on Industry, Senator, Sam Egwu and Corporate Affairs Director, Unilever Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Soromidayo George during a courtesy visit to the Senate President yesterday in Abuja.
The manufacturing giant, Unilever Nigeria Plc. in a meeting with the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and a separate meeting with the Minister for Trade and Investment and the Minister for State for Trade and Investment, Prof. Okey Enelamah and Mrs. Aisha Abubakar; revealed its plans to further increase its investment in the country. The plan was shared by the President, Africa-Unilever, Mr. Bruno Witvoet, who disclosed that the company will set up new plants within the country to further enhance local manufacture.
The Unilever President, also stated that they are working on their backward integration plans, driving towards 100% local sourcing over time. This plan was shared yesterday by the President, Africa-Unilever, Mr. Bruno Witvoet during a courtesy visit of the Unilever management to the Senate President, Dr. BukolaSaraki and the Minister for Trade and Investment, Prof. Okechukwu Enelamah.
“We are pleased and very confident to state that we are a Nigerian company and we are here to stay. We have been in the country for 92 years and will be here for another 92 years and more. Our plans for increased investment will also bring about employment opportunities in the country as workers will be recruited for the new production line, and in the farms for the production and sourcing of local raw materials.
Appreciating what he described as good initiative from Unilever, Saraki assured that the present administration was serious about its policy on diversification of the economy, while the National Assembly was also reviewing some extant laws to make the country a business-friendly destination.
The local sourcing of the raw materials he stated will help provide a ready market for some of the products produced by local farmers and thus provide them with the needed encouragement and empowerment. Saraki noted that the National Assembly is resolved to give its support to ensure that policies are made consistent and also to provide all the incentives that are required to ensure that business and investors are encouraged to make the kind of investments promised by Unilever.
“What we are trying to do as much as possible is to see how we can diversify and increase the supply side for import substitution and the demand is huge. One of the concerns being raised is whether these policies are going to be consistent. And I say, yes, It will”, he noted.
The Minister for trade in his comments made at a separate meeting also corroborated the words of the Senate President stating that the current administration prides itself high on integrity, good governance, provision of a secure environment, economic progress and a commitment to sound policies and is ready to providing a fertile environment for investors to do legitimate business in the country.