NIGERIAN Breweries Plc has said that it has achieved 57 percent local content for brewing its beverages while the target is to source 60 per cent by 2020.

Mr. Patrick Olowokere, Corporate Communi-cations/Brand PR Manager, who disclosed this during a tour of the company’s maltose syrup plant in Ibadan, said: “99 percent of our packaging materials are locally sourced; sorghum 100 percent and cassava starch 60 percent.”

According to him, the drive by the company to source raw materials locally was in line with Heineken’s the parent company, target of achieving 60 per cent of raw materials need in Africa by 2020.

“We achieved 47.4 per cent local content in 2015, 57 percent at the end of 2016, and may achieve the 60 percent target by 2018.

“Our main raw materials are barley, sorghum and hops. Barley and hops are imported because they are not locally grown due to our climate conditions while sorghum, cassava and our packaging materials are locally sourced, “ he said.

He explained that the packaging materials (bottles, aluminum cans, crown-corks, labels, crates, cartons, etc) are being sourced from GZ Industries, Agbara Industrial Estate, Ogun State, and Glass Force Limited, Aba, Abia State and cassava starch from Psaltry International Company Limited, Ado-Awaye, Oyo State.

“We once attempted to grow barley in Nigeria. It was done around Jos and Mambilla plateau in the 80s but the project did not succeed due to our climate conditions.  So, after several researches, we succeeded on sorghum.

“When we started operation in Nigeria, we were importing raw materials from Europe. If you know what it means to ship empty bottles all the way from Europe to Nigeria, but when we started the business with GZI and Glass force, we said to ourselves:  it is not sustainable to keep bringing in cans and bottles from Europe, can we find local partners who will make it steadily in Nigeria. So, we started looking for an investor. We found one and they agreed to set up a canning factory in Nigeria, at Agbara industrial estate, Ogun State.

We worked with them and guaranteed their financials that if they make the cans, we will buy them and they started making them,” he said.

Mr. Kufre Ekanem, Public Affairs Adviser, added that the company will continue to support the existing and prospective value chain suppliers across the various sectors of the economy.  “We are looking for people that are doing critical things and encourage them. It is tied to our corporate philosophy of “Wining with Nigerians,” he said.

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