Unilever to explore local sourcing, backward integration in Nigeria
In a bid to increase its investment portfolio in the country, Unilever Nigeria Plc has unveiled plans to set up new plants in the country while exploring options of local sourcing of raw materials as well as backwardly integrate on products being imported.
According to the firm, the plans to backwardly integrate would drive complete local sourcing of its production materials while enhancing local manufacturing.
In separate meetings with the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment and the Minister for State for Trade and Investment, Prof. Okey Enelamah and Mrs. Aisha Abubakar, the President, Africa-Unilever, Bruno Witvoet unveiled the firm’s plans to further increase its investment in the country.
“We are pleased and very confident to state that we are a Nigerian company and we are here to stay. We have been in the country for 92 years and will be here for another 92 years and more. Our plans for increased investment will also bring about employment opportunities in the country as workers will be recruited for the new production line, and in the farms for the production and sourcing of local raw materials”, Witvoet stated.
Speaking on the initiative from Unilever, Saraki assured that the present administration is serious about its policy on diversification of the economy, while the National Assembly is also reviewing some extant laws to make the country a business-friendly destination.
The local sourcing of the raw materials he stated will help provide a ready market for some of the products produced by local farmers and thus provide them with the needed encouragement and empowerment.
Saraki noted that the National Assembly is resolved to give its support to ensure that policies are made consistent and also to provide all the incentives that are required to ensure that business and investors are encouraged to make the kind of investments promised by Unilever.
“What we are trying to do as much as possible is to see how we can diversify and increase the supply side for import substitution and the demand is huge. One of the concerns being raised is whether these policies are going to be consistent. And I say, yes, It will”, he noted.
Corroborating the words of the Senate President, the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Enelamah stated that the current administration prides itself high on integrity, good governance, provision of a secured environment, economic progress and commitment to sound policies and is ready to provide a fertile environment for investors to do legitimate business in the country.