NIGERIA – The Nigerian Breweries Plc has expressed faith in the economic viability of its operations in Abia State as it injected N18 billion to upgrade and expand Aba Brewery.

The 58 year old facility was transformed into an ultra-modern one following a two-year upgrading project which was completed in 2014.

Speaking at the inauguration of the modern brewery, President Goodluck Jonathan noted that with this multi-billion naira investment, NB Plc has indeed restated its unshakable resolve to remain a major player in the nation’s economic development.

Jonathan, who was represented by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, said that NB Plc was supportive of his administration’s economic transformation agenda as demonstrated by the huge investments in expanding the Aba Brewery.

He said that for the brewery giant to inject N18 billion into its business operations in Aba, was a clear sign that Nigeria in general and Abia State in particular was  safe for business.

He added that this singular investment has generated 279, 000 direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians, including 250 farmers.

According to him, the project is also a reflection of  our  future as a nation. The listing of NB Plc among the top 100 companies in Nigeria in 2014 was made possible by such investments like the one made to upgrade the Aba Brewery.

Abia State governor, Chief Theodore Orji, said that the project was a cutting edge partnership between his administration and private investors made possible by the prevailing peace and security in the state.

He urged the people of Abia to continue to support the company for investing in the state thereby contributing to improving the living standard of the people through direct and indirect employment while the three tiers of government stand to benefit from revenue from tax.

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NB Plc, Mr. Nicolaas Vervelde said that the Aba Brewery has been transformed not only to become the most modern brewery in Nigeria but also ranks among the best in the Heineken Group worldwide.

“This brewery is no doubt a showpiece in brewing technology and it is worth emphasizing at this point the fact that this entire ultra-modern facility is managed and operated 100 percent by Nigerians,” he said.

He explained that the modern Aba Brewery comprises “a most modern brew house capable of making 12 brews of 500hl casting volume per hour with energy recovery system capable of processing 230 cubic meters of water per hour.

“The new membrane beer filter installed here is the latest technology in beer filtration,” he said.

He explained that the new Aba brewery has the most modern wastewater treatment plant to treat effluents from the brewery with a capacity to handle 3300 cubic meter of effluent per day with new utility plants and a most modern canning line with a production capacity of 57, 000 cans per hour.

Chairman NB Board of Directors, Chief Kola Jamodu noted that the “impressive transformation” that has taken place in Aba Brewery represented a “renewal of faith with the good people of Aba, Abia State and Eastern Nigeria as a whole.

He said that NB Plc has through corporate investments over the years become a very active supporter of the developmental aspirations of the Nigerian nation, citing the company’s continuous identification and response to major challenges facing the nation, especially in areas of education, environment, youth empowerment, water, talent development and sports, among others.

Jamodu pointed out that the company has made tremendous socio-economic impact in Nigeria as according to him, report shows that in 2013 alone the value added by NB Plc to the Nigerian economy stood at N292 billion or 0.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

He revealed that NB Plc supported 279, 000 jobs directly and indirectly, out of which over 85,000 jobs can be directly attributed to the company’s production and local procurement activities.

“The investment in expanding and upgrading our Aba Brewery represents another bold attempt to showcase our commitment to winning with Nigeria,” he added.

According to him, this investment also highlights our confidence in the fundamentals of the Nigerian economy and the enabling macro-economic environment for businesses to thrive despite recent challenges.

March 1, 2015;