The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has advocated agriculture and backward integration by corporate organisations as a way of revitalising the Nigerian economy.
The governor, who was on a courtesy visit to Nigerian Breweries recently, said agriculture, which was once the mainstay of the nation’s economy would only thrive when backward integration is encouraged by not just the government, but corporate organisations, such as Nigerian Breweries has been doing through its sorghum and cassava value chains.
“With the thousands of jobs you have created through your sorghum and cassava value chains, it is clear that we can use agriculture and backward integration to revive and reflate this economy. We would like to partner with you in this regard to increase employment in Nigeria,” the governor said.
He lauded the management of the company for taking the initiative to engage over 250,000 farmers in its sorghum and cassava value chain, saying that it has gone a long way in providing jobs for the people.
“I am excited about the fact that you are employing about 250,000 farmers in your value chains and that you also have 4,000 direct employees. You create jobs for Lagosians and we are very happy that you are part of the success story of our Lagos. People employed in all the beer parlours and restaurants are part of the indirect jobs you have created for Lagosians,” he said.
The governor congratulated the company on its 70th anniversary and also praised it for being a responsible corporate citizen, adding that it has done more than any other company in terms of corporate social responsibility in the state. The governor pledged continuous co-operation and partnership between the state and Nigerian Breweries Plc. “We are part of this partnership and we shall do all to support it,” he said, while assuring of his government’s support in creating an enabling environment for the company.
A major highlight of the visit was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Lagos State government and Nigerian Breweries Plc. on the ‘One Lagos Fiesta’. Ambode signed on behalf of the state while Chief Kola Jamodu signed on behalf of Nigerian Breweries Plc.
Earlier, the Chairman of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Chief Kola Jamodu, in his welcome address, lauded Ambode for his development strides since he assumed office, especially in the areas of road construction, security improvement and support for industry. The company also donated two security patrol vans to the Lagos State Security Trust Fund during the visit, while Ambode planted a commemorative tree in the premises of the company’s Lagos brewery.