By Naomi Uzor
PHILIP Morris Limited (PML), the national affiliate of Philip Morris International (PMI) in Nigeria has entered into a strategic partnership with International Tobacco Company Limited (ITC) to manufacture one of PMI’s leading brands in Nigeria.
Under this agreement, PML will be investing in technology and capacity building at ITC’s factory, creating additional employment opportunities and contributing to the economy of Nigeria.
Speaking during an official launch to mark the start of local manufacturing held at ITC’s factory at Ilorin, Kwara State, Coskun Kagan Dicle, PML’s Managing Director, said, “We strongly believe that investing in local manufacturing is the right thing for the future as it contributes to the Nigerian government’s efforts to strengthen the economy and reduce the dependency on oil.
“It will also benefit all parties: Our consumers will have their preferred brand readily available at the highest quality standards, our partners will enjoy improved capacity utilization of their facilities, and the local community will benefit from the micro-economy boost and new employment opportunities. We are here to provide a choice to those consumers who choose to continue to smoke, and we are here to make a positive contribution to the Nigerian economy for the long term.”
He went on to highlight the giant stride that PML has made in less than two years of operations in Nigeria, attributing it to PMI’s global strategy to deliver long-term sustainable growth and the passion of local employees.
Dicle further added that the start of local manufacturing is just the beginning of various planned investments in the Nigerian economy by PML. He noted: “PML and ITC are eager to become an integral part of Nigeria’s drive to strengthen the economy through creation of jobs, more foreign direct investment, and tax payments, while upholding the highest standards as socially responsible companies.”