• Monday, April 22, 2024
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British American Tobacco’s legacy: Building a better Nigeria, lasting impact

BATNF’s commences season 2 of Farmers for the Future Project

Across the vibrant landscape of Nigeria, from bustling urban centres to rural farming communities, one company plays a significant role in driving economic development and social progress: British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATNF). BATNF’s story in Nigeria is one of continuous investment, collaboration, and shared success. They have woven themselves into the fabric of the nation, contributing significantly to its economic and social well-being.

Leading the way is BATN’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Ibadan, a $185 million testament to their long-term belief in Nigeria’s potential. But their vision extends beyond their own walls. Recognising the power of collaboration, BATN facilitated a $30 million investment by Nampak SA, a third-party supplier, fostering partnerships and strengthening the entire business value chain.

BATN’s commitment to Nigeria goes beyond bricks and mortar. They serve as a vital contributor to the national treasury, having paid over N415 billion in taxes and levies from 2018 to 2023. These substantial contributions directly support essential public services and infrastructure development, benefiting every Nigerian citizen.

BATN’s impact extends beyond its domestic borders. The company actively exports its products to 11 West and Central African countries and the United States of America (USA), generating a significant $110 million in annual foreign exchange. This not only strengthens BATN’s position but also contributes to a healthier national balance of payments, benefiting the Nigerian economy as a whole.

Yarub Al-Bahrani puts it succinctly: “With pride, we have witnessed made-in-Nigeria products from our factory being exported to countries across West and Central Africa, showcasing the quality and ingenuity of Nigerian manufacturing on the global stage. This has not only boosted Nigeria’s trade presence but has also earned us recognition as a top 10 national exporter by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC)”.

He added, “In recognition of our outstanding contributions to the growth of the non-oil export sector, the NEPC recognised BAT as the ‘Best Exporter to African Markets for 2022”.
Investing in human capital is at the core of BATN’s philosophy. They directly and indirectly employ over 350,000 individuals, providing income and livelihoods for countless families. Recognising the value of social responsibility, BATN has invested N2 billion in corporate social investment projects since 2003, focusing on areas like education, healthcare, and community development, leaving a lasting positive impact on countless lives.
BATN’s commitment goes beyond traditional business activities. They actively engage with stakeholders, participating in policy discussions and initiatives that promote sustainable economic development. Additionally, they champion responsible business practices and ethical conduct, setting a positive example for other companies operating in Nigeria. They were able to demonstrate this with the hosting of the first edition of the private-sector-led ESG Forum late last year. The forum attracted top business leaders across the African continent and relevant government agencies.
As the company looks towards the future, BATN says it remains committed to playing a leading role in shaping a brighter Nigeria. With its focus on innovation, sustainability, and responsible business practices, BATN is well-positioned to continue its journey as a partner in progress, empowering communities and building a brighter future for the nation they call home.

However, Chief Kola Karim, the Agbaoye of Ibadanland and Chairman of the BAT Nigeria Advisory Board, emphasises the importance of the government’s ongoing support and partnership. He sees BATN’s success as deeply rooted in their commitment to Nigeria, even “through thick and thin.” He further acknowledges President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s emphasis on promoting foreign direct investment, job creation, and poverty eradication, and sees BATN as a successful example of these goals in action.

BATN’s story is not just about a company’s achievements; it’s about a tapestry woven with threads of economic growth, social progress, and a shared vision for a brighter future. By continuing to invest in the nation, its people, and responsible practices, BATN can ensure that this tapestry continues to grow, benefiting both the company and Nigeria as a whole.

Olaolu Ibrahim writes from Oyo state