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BAT Nigeria’s 20-year investment journey through its state-of-the art factory

BAT Nigeria’s 20-year investment journey through its state-of-the art factory

British American Tobacco commenced its investment journey in Nigeria as a trading business, and partnerships culminated in a direct investment in setting up an over $185 million world-class factory over two decades ago in Ibadan, one of Africa’s largest cities.

Over the years, BAT Nigeria has demonstrated its dedication to Nigeria by continuously expanding and upgrading its facilities. The Ibadan factory, in particular, stands out as a symbol of the company’s long-term commitment to the country. Equipped with modern technology and adhering to international standards, the factory has gone far beyond the production of tobacco products to become a social and environmental champion, providing employment opportunities for thousands of Nigerians and contributing its quota to the growth of the Nigerian economy.

Read also: Consumer Protection Commission unveils campaign to tackle rise in youth tobacco use

In the area of sustainable environmental practices, the factory achieved the Alliance for Water Stewardship Core certification in 2022, meeting all five core criteria for responsible water stewardship on a global scale. This accomplishment aligns with BAT’s sustainability priorities for 2025.

In addition to the company’s significant contribution to job creation, providing about 350,000 direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians, it has played a crucial role in both domestic and export operations. In recognition of its impactful role in the export drive for the nation, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) awarded the title of ‘Best Exporter to African Markets for the Year 2022’ to BAT Nigeria. This recognition acknowledged the company’s exports to 14 (now 11) countries in West and Central Africa.

Adhering to global standards, BAT Nigeria’s state-of-the-art technology ensures efficiency, quality, and environmental sustainability. Recognising the importance of environmental stewardship, the company has integrated sustainable and responsible practices into its operations, from responsibly sourcing raw materials to implementing waste reduction initiatives.

The company’s investment has stimulated economic growth by contributing to Nigeria’s tax revenue. Over the last six years, BAT Nigeria and its related operations have generated over N415 billion in taxes. The company’s adherence to ethical business practices and compliance with local regulations has further solidified its role as a responsible corporate citizen.

British American Tobacco Nigeria (BATN) is also setting a strong example for responsible business practices. Its commitment to environmental sustainability is evident in its impressive achievements in this area. By transitioning from diesel to compressed natural gas (CNG) for power generation in 2022 and integrating solar power in 2023, BATN significantly reduced its greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on fossil fuels by 28 percent, with a target to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Besides, in 2020, BATN achieved a remarkable zero-waste-to-landfill milestone, demonstrating its commitment to responsible waste management and resource conservation. Recognising the importance of water security, BATN invested in a state-of-the-art water waste treatment plant. This 30,000-square-metre plant allows the company to recycle and reuse all its effluent wastewater, minimising its water footprint and environmental impact. These achievements showcase BATN’s dedication to operating in an environmentally responsible way. Its efforts contribute to a more sustainable future for Nigeria and the wider manufacturing industry.

Read also: FCCPC fines British American Tobacco Nigeria $110m for violations

Speaking about the organisation’s journey towards making a positive impact, Odiri Erewa-Meggison, FCIS, Director, External Affairs, BAT West and Central Africa, emphasised, “Our commitment to sustainable business practices extends beyond environmental concerns to encompass the well-being of the communities where we operate. Over the years, BAT Nigeria has been a catalyst for job creation, providing thousands of direct and indirect employment opportunities. The company’s commitment to diversity and skill development has not only strengthened our workforce but has also become a cornerstone for fostering innovation within the industry.”

British American Tobacco Nigeria’s 20-year investment journey in Ibadan reflects not only the company’s resilience but also the potential for foreign investments to thrive in Nigeria’s evolving economic landscape. The Ibadan factory stands as a symbol of sustained commitment, economic impact, and responsible corporate citizenship. As Nigeria continues to attract global investments, BAT Nigeria’s success story serves as an inspiration and a testament to the opportunities that lie within the heart of the African continent.

 

Olaoluwa Ibrahim writes from Ibadan.