BASF returns to Nigeria after 10-year absence

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Lagos -The Federal Government’s efforts to garner more foreign direct investment received a boost late Tuesday when BASF, a German company, re-entered the Nigerian market with a pledge to assist in boosting the nation’s economic growth.

The company, now known as BASF Chemical Company, made its second entry into the country after a 10-year hiatus in its operations with the inauguration of its West African regional office in Lagos.

BASF, which earlier concentrated on the production of recording cassettes, has since
since metamorphosed into a manufacturing conglomerate with diverse interests in construction, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and oil and gas.

Mr Jacques Delmoitiez, BASF’s President, Europe, Middle East and Africa, said that at the company’s maiden news briefing that its return was to ensure effective positioning and maximisation of the nation’s potential and emerging market.

“Africa is a huge continent with a wealth of raw materials and a growing population; at the same time, the dynamically growing economy has enormous potential for BASF.

“Through establishing a local presence in Nigeria, we will be able to understand our customers’ needs and enhance BASF’s market,” Delmoitiez said.

He said that company, which had a strong presence in South Africa and Kenya, projected that the West African office located in Nigeria would assist in doubling its turnover to about two billion euro by 2020.

Delmoitiez would not disclose the worth of BASF’s projected investments, but said that its current sales in Africa, excluding oil and gas, stood at about one billion euro in 2011.

He said that in Nigeria, BASF planned to, in the short and medium term, to effectively participate in the booming construction industry.

The president listed the company’s other areas of focus in Nigeria and the West African region, to include agriculture, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, oil and gas.

Delmoitiez further said that BASF would commit resources to the fortification of staple foods, such as cooking oil and flour through strategic local partners.

Also speaking, Mr Andrew Bailey, BASF’s West African Managing Director designate, said that Nigeria’s transformation agenda provided the company a great latitude to actualise its robust business plans.

Bailey identified Nigeria’s huge human capital, material and population as the key drivers of the company’s projected manufacturing business operations in the region.

He said that BASF planned to effectively use the nation’s human resource as the foundation of its business by exposing them to the dynamics of modern technology, business strategies and manufacturing.

BASF realised a global turnover of 73.5 billion euro in 2011.

BASF’s shares are currently traded in Frankfurt, London and Zurich stock exchanges. (NAN)

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