Nigerian Bottling Company Limited (NBC) has reemphasized its commitment to focused developmental investment through creation of mega production facilities, continuous upgrade and state of the art production facilities in all its plants in Nigeria.
The Company is currently executing an accelerated investment plan to double production capacity by 2020, hence the need to drive significant investment into its manufacturing process.
As part of the accelerated investment plan, last year NBC completed some of its upgrades, a major investment being the new state of the art production facility to manufacture 5Alive Pulpy Orange Juice, and this was successfully introduced into the Nigerian market.
In a related development, it is not clear why the company which is currently executing an accelerated investment plan that is aimed at doubling production capacity by 2020 is not upgrading the Ilorin plant.
In a statement made late last year, the Legal, Public Affairs and Communications Director for NBC Limited, Sade Morgan, stated that, “The Company is upgrading its manufacturing operations, and the Ilorin facility is being transformed to become a world class material handling and logistics hub.”
She stated that, the re-streaming of operations in Ilorin is part of an on-going Accelerated Investment Plan, aimed at doubling production capacity by 2020, to better satisfy the company’s customers and markets.
“Whilst manufacturing activities have ceased within the Ilorin facility, the Company will continue to carry out logistics and commercial operations from that location, making it a major and expanded full-fledged depot and material handling facility.” Investigations however revealed that this move has led to some reassignments and movement of some of its employees around the different NBC plants and depot locations to maximize their capabilities, experience and for best fit.
A source told BusinessDay that some staff were also dropped in the process.
In a new restructuring, NBC has between 2011 and 2014 committed an investment of over N109bn in infrastructure modernization, supply chain capacity enhancement, human capital development and expanded corporate social responsibility initiatives. The Company strongly lays credence that its operations support the socio-economic lives and its on-going accelerated investment plan is also expected to boost its socio-economic footprints, providing employment opportunities, improving livelihoods and economically empowering communities in an environmentally sustainable way.
Products from NBC continue to remain in high demand across the length and breadth of Nigeria. Morgan confirmed this when she said in the statement that, demand for Coca-Cola products is high and growing, and in a bid to meet up with the sales projection trajectory in a competitive environment, more production lines are being installed in some of NBC’s existing manufacturing facilities, most of which will be new.
Both Coca Cola, biggest-selling soft drink in history with about $81.6 billion global brand value and NBC, its bottler, have one objective, which is to maintain the brand forte in Nigeria’s beverage industry and NBC knows that this can only be achieved through quality product availability and right distribution network. Its present restreaming operations to ensure it doubles its production capacity in the next four years, according to a source, is to ever remain strong in the distribution of its products and service to consumers in the big Nigerian market especially as new beverage soft drink products see Nigeria as market hard to ignore.
Stating further, the Company’s spokesperson said “NBC is partnering with communities on its shared values – Water Stewardship, Youth Development and Women Empowerment. Partnering with state government, supporting female entrepreneurs with trade asset financing and business training for women entrepreneurs in our value chain remains a top priority and part of our annual business plan.”