Coca-Cola plans N560b 5-year investment in Nigeria - Breaking News Nigeria
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Coca-Cola plans N560b 5-year investment in Nigeria

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• Uplifts Living Standards Of Communities With N9b

As part of its commitment to Nigeria, while celebrating its 70th anniversary, the Coca-Cola System in Nigeria – Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Ltd and Coca-Cola Nigeria Ltd, has pledged to invest N560b in the next five years.

The Managing Director of NBC, Mathieu Seguin said: “As we continue to grow, we have been very deliberate about investing heavily to make a positive impact in the lives of people in communities where we operate. We believe that our business is only as sustainable as the communities in which we do business, and this is why we have mainstreamed sustainability into every aspect of our business.

“In the last 10 years alone, the Coke System has invested more than N9b in lifting the living standards of communities where we do business, through relevant initiatives. Some of the areas we have had the most impact have been in education, youth development, women empowerment, water, environmental sustainability, sports and the promotion of commerce and entrepreneurship.”

On his part, the Managing Director of Coca-Cola Nigeria, Alfred Olajide noted that anniversaries are an important part of life, as they remind people of important events, both personal and cultural. “So, this celebration not only gives us a chance to look back at the brand’s history but also an opportunity to highlight our plans for the future. This milestone is a testament to the possibilities and shared opportunities we have created in this great country,” he said.

Olajide explained that as the company prepares for more decades of excellence and enriching moments, there are opportunities to learn more, listen more, and continue to tailor its beverage solutions to provide consumers with the brands they love at the different phases of their lives, done sustainably for a better-shared future.

“We will continue to enable economic empowerment for the people who need it most – downstream and upstream of our supply chain to truly uplift future generations. Our environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals are embedded in how we operate as a business – it has been the history and legacy of the business in Nigeria, and our consumers should not expect anything less than the promise of quality, personalisation, and the optimism that our beverages inspire.”

Olajide said Coca-Cola has always been at the forefront of corporate support for the development of football in Nigeria, as over 10,000 players from 500 schools and 50 celebrity football coaches have participated in the Copa Coca-Cola programme, which has reached the 36 States and the FCT, Abuja since it was launched in 2009.

He said: “In emphasising our current Real Magic philosophy, we will be kick-starting the Nigerians of Coca-Cola campaign, to tell a visual story of a diverse set of people across key regions in the country with different struggles and positive histories with Coca-Cola. These are people that have directly benefitted from the Coca-Cola System’s sustainability initiatives – from our value system to our key programme areas, such as women and youth empowerment, waste, wellbeing, and water stewardship. Through this activity, we will also highlight the long-term impact these partnerships and initiatives have had on the communities and individuals.”

The 70th-anniversary celebration will run through the remaining part of 2021, with activities designed to celebrate the milestone with customers, employees, partners and the general public for their support towards the growth of the business, which includes the Anniversary Stakeholder Event and consumer seeding/giveback programmes, among others.

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Stakeholders laud NPA’s N89.9b remittance to govt coffers

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Stakeholders in the maritime sector have lauded the remittance of N89.9 billion by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) into the Federal Government’s coffers.
   
Acting Managing Director, Mohammed Bello-Koko had recently said the Authority has so far remitted about N89.9 billion into government coffers this year, after about 120 percent surge in internally generated revenue.
 
Commenting on the development, the former national President, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Eugene Nweke said it is no longer in doubt that Bello-Koko has the ability to productively or prudently manage the Authority to generate enhanced revenue.
   
Nweke stressed the need for the NPA management to also focus on infrastructure maintenance and sustenance. 

A chieftain of the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Mr Abdulhai Inua Mohammed said the figure was truly impressive.

He, however, stressed the need for Bello-Koko to look inwards, beyond revenue generation. He bemoaned infrastructural decay at the ports, and urged the NPA helmsman to do everything possible to get the infrastructure fixed.

An importer and industry expert, Bolutife Egbewole said while he didn’t expect the acting managing director to deliver so much within so short a time, the feat, nonetheless, shows that Bello-Koko knows his ‘onions’.

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‘Multiple products, innovation driving our growth’

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Vitafoam Nigeria Plc  has attributed its steadily impressive performance to continuous investment in innovative products and services across its businesses.

Despite the inclement operating environment, Vitafoam has remained resilient with an average gross margin of 37.90 per cent in the last five years and the company’s shares is one of the most sought after on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) due to track record of consistent profitability.

Group Managing  Director, Vitafoam Nigeria Plc, Mr Taiwo Adeniyi, explained that Vitafoam was no longer just  about manufacturing of rigid foams but had developed other innovative products through its subsidiaries in Nigeria and overseas.

He spoke during their facilities tour of Vitapur’s plant in Lagos by members of  Organisation for Technology Advancement of Cold Chain in West Africa {OTACCWA) and Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA).

“Vitafoam is consolidating into core business with the introduction of innovative value added products and services. The Company is a full range solution provider for bedding and allied products. It operates strong Comforr Centres as one stop shop for discerning consumers, including baby products The quality products across its subsidiaries provide multiple choice for its different classes of consumers.

“Vitapur Nigeria Limited manufactures insulation boards, and sandwich panels amongst others, Vitavisco  produces elastic foam, pillow, and foam sheet used for construction, Vono produces metal and wood furniture, Vitablom and  the new baby,  Vitapart are into oil filtering production, the first of its type in the West Africa. Vitafoam group has factories in Kano, Jos, Aba, and Ikeja as well as offshores,”,  Adeniyi said.

After the facilities tour, the President, OTACCWA, Mr Alexander Isong commended the Management of Vitapur for the state-of -the -art factory, saying  “ it  meets standard and the management should support the vibrant staff at the laboratory line”

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Four banks borrow $6.21bn from foreign market amid dollar shortage

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In a bid to support their balance sheets with foreign exchange, four banks in the country raised $6.21bn from foreign creditors between January and October 2021.

An analysis of reports shared on the issuer’s portal of the Nigerian Exchange Limited revealed that Access Bank Plc, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, Fidelity Bank Plc and the United Bank for Africa Plc sought dollar liquidity through secure and unsecured notes, three of which listed their notes on the London Stock Exchange.

On February 11, Ecobank notified the NGX of successful pricing of its $300m fixed-rate, dollar-denominated bond, carrying a coupon rate of 7.125 per cent. It said the issuance was oversubscribed three times, with about $900m raised.

The rating of B- from Fitch Ratings hinted that the bank was more vulnerable to adverse business, financial and economic conditions but could meet its financial commitments as of the time of issuance.

The bank also announced a $350m tier 2 sustainability Eurobond raise in July issued with a coupon of 8.75 per cent, which was oversubscribed 3.6x, amounting to $1.3bn at its peak.

Access Bank, as part of its expansion drive, raised two tranches of Eurobonds in September.

Its $500m senior unsecured Eurobond rated B by Fitch Ratings and B2 negative outlook by Moody’s showed there was a high credit risk and vulnerability to adverse business, financial and economic conditions, but with a capacity to meet financial obligations.

The bank said the senior unsecured five-year Eurobond with a 6.125 per cent coupon was three times oversubscribed, ending over $1.6bn at the end of the transaction. It also completed another $500m offering with a 9.125 per cent coupon oversubscribed by 200 per cent, peaking at over $1bn.

This month, UBA announced its $300m senior unsecured Eurobond issued at a coupon of 6.75 per cent. The notes, rated B by Fitch and B- by S&P Global Ratings, showed a vulnerability to adverse business, financial and economic conditions.

Fidelity Bank, in October, raised $400m through a five-year tenor Eurobond with a 7.765 per cent coupon, listed on the Irish Stock Exchange.

Analysts told The PUNCH that the banks sought funding from the international markets to support dollar-needing opportunities, equity positions on their balance sheets, and mitigation of risks posed by the devaluation of the naira.

A financial analyst, Kalu Aja, said that since banks provided dollars needed for the importation of goods into the country, acquiring funding from the international market was a necessity.

A research analyst, Adedayo Bakare, said, “Ecobank and Access Bank, for example, are using part of the funds to refinance existing assets.

“Part of Access Bank’s raise was used to pay off investors for its bond that matured in October 2021. Some of it will also be used to fund its leveraged expansion drive.”

Industry watchers have raised concerns that the budget deficit funding requirements of the Federal Government had resulted in crowding out of the private sector from the local capital market.

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