The Chief Executive Officer of Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. John Musunga, has said that Guinness Nigeria is not leaving the country, as reported by some segments of the media.
Musunga revealed that rather than leaving Nigeria, the international brewing giant will be increasing its capital investments and expanding its production capacity in the country.
The Guinness Nigeria CEO made this known yesterday during a briefing with journalists in Lagos to explain some of the company’s new operational strategies in distributing its products in Nigeria in the face of biting foreign exchange scarcity businesses are experiencing in the country.
“We have no intention now, or in the future, to exit from the Nigeria market. We are delighted with the opportunities Nigerian consumers are giving to our brands. They consume our brands and we want to continue to deliver value to them.
“We have a robust research and development (R&D) that will continue to give us what the taste preferences, needs, and aspirations of our Nigerian consumers are. And with that in mind we craft products that meet those needs,” he said.
Musunga further revealed that Guinness Nigeria has just acquired 25 acres of land in the Ikeja industrial area in line with its expansion plan, and as recently as last week the company took delivery of new equipment that was brought in to expand its spirit capacity, having identified huge opportunities in the market that it can tap more into.
“To demonstrate that we are keen to remain in Nigeria, our new water recapture plants in Lagos and Benin cost millions of dollars. These state-of-the-art facilities are expensive but we intend to continue demonstrating as a business that we are thinking sustainability.
“You will also see the new equipment that we brought in last week to expand our spirit capacity having identified huge opportunities in our consumer products that our mainstream business here in Nigeria could tap into and expand substantially. We are bringing in additional capacity that will allow us to expand. We are going to commission that equipment next year (2024) to scale up.
“We have also acquired new 25 acres of land here in Lagos for further expansion. We want to demonstrate as a business that we are not exiting Nigeria otherwise we will not be making huge investments like those I have explained to expand and serve our customers better,” he revealed.
Musunga also threw more light on Guinness’ recent announcement on halting the marketing of its imported finished products, revealing that it is to enable Guinness Nigeria to concentrate on products that it manufactures locally while creating a new company that would be charged with the importation and distribution of its imported spirit products in Nigeria.
As reported by Thisday, Musunga said, “When President Tinubu announced new policies that resulted in currency devaluation, we were carrying huge foreign exchange exposure that we have to revalue, which removed us from the very healthy profit position which we were going to report in June. If that announcement had been made on July 1, we would have made quite a bit of profit. But because it was made in June and our year closes in June we made a N19 billion loss because of that devaluation.
“We do not want to carry forward that kind of exposure whereby we increase our foreign exchange exposure in our balance sheet and our profit and loss account. Being very tactful in how we move these imported spirits around, will free Guinness Nigeria to utilise the foreign exchange that we earn from our business and the little that we receive from the government to buy raw materials that we use to manufacture. That is one of the big motivations for that change,” he had explained.