By Naomi Uzor
THE world’s leading tobacco company, Philip Morris International (PMI), with operations in 181 countries, yesterday, said it has finalised plans to commence manufacturing in Nigeria before the end of 2016.
The investment comes in less than two years after it commenced operations in Nigeria. Upon its entry to Nigeria in 2015, PMI took the opportunity provided by the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) to bring its brands to Nigeria from its manufacturing plant in Senegal, in what is understood to be in keeping up with its regionalisation policy.
Managing Director of PMINTL Nigeria Limited, Mr. Coskun Kagan Dicle said: “We are proud to be in Nigeria at a time when economic diversification is so critical to Nigeria’s long term economic objectives. Our company was incorporated in December 2014 and during 2015 received all regulatory approvals required to commence importation of some of our world-class brands into Nigeria under the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme from our factory in Senegal.
However, in pursuit of our long term objectives in Nigeria, we have entered into a strategic agreement with International Tobacco Company Limited (ITC), a Nigerian company, to commence local manufacturing of some of our brands before the end of 2016. We are proud that in less than two years of our presence in Nigeria, we have already reached the stage of starting local manufacturing, which has been possible, thanks to the relentless efforts of our strong team of Nigerian talents.”