BY: CHARLES ABUEDE
Guinness Nigeria Plc, part of the world’s largest premium drinks company, Diageo Plc., and home of the first Guinness brewery outside of the British Isles, says it is not leaving Nigeria, but rather, it is committing more investment in Nigeria, serving its revered consumers and creating more job opportunities for Nigerians.
The brewer, in a statement, explained that it was not exiting Nigeria after media reports suggested it was planning to move to Ghana, especially when its Ikeja factory site came up on some property sites as being for sale.
The company said the information is not in tandem with its current expansion and investment drive, as it recently reaffirmed its long-term strategic expansion plans in Nigeria with the acquisition of an additional 25-acre commercial property in the Ogba industrial area of Lagos purchased as recently as late 2021.
“The attention of the Management of Guinness Nigeria Plc has been drawn to some false, malicious, and misleading publication trending on some social media platforms falsely alleging that Guinness Nigeria is relocating out of Nigeria and therefore planning to sell its Ikeja Brewery site. A bogus ‘sales brochure’ circulating online in various formats claims that the Ikeja site sale is part of an exit plan, and this falsehood is being irresponsibly circulated by faceless persons purporting to be property agents.
“Contrary to the false information being circulated by detractors, we are renewed in our efforts to serve our revered consumers and create more job opportunities for Nigerians as seen in the new $5 million additional production line recently commissioned at our Brewery in Ogba, Lagos in October 2021. We are also pleased to state that we are on the verge of completing work on our new ultra-modern head office block located in Ikeja where we will be moving in the next few weeks.
“Guinness Nigeria subscribes to the highest standards of corporate governance and will continue to demonstrate the highest standards of integrity, and especially guarantee that our engagement with consumers, government agencies, suppliers, shareholders, and other stakeholders is driven by our values and principles.
“Guinness Nigeria has confidence in the Nigerian economy and just as we have done for the past seventy-one years, we will remain a major player in the country by continually investing, developing capabilities, growing brands that most suit the consumers’ needs; and contributing positively to lives, communities and the environment,” it stated.
Meanwhile, the foremost brewer recently announced to its shareholders the stellar and robust 266 percent performance growth in its operating profits over a six-months period to N13.6 billion in its half-year unaudited financial results ended 31st December 2021.