By Dipo Olowookere
The management of leading manufacturing company and makers of brands like Always and Pampers, Procter and Gamble (P&G) Nigeria, recently engaged select local raw material suppliers in the country to an interactive meeting with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and representatives from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).
The meeting was convened to assess the capability of local businesses and seek their participation in strengthening our raw material localization objectives in line with the Backward Integration Program (BIP) of the Federal Government.
This is following the recent commissioning of P&G Nigeria’s Always Production Line in June, which was officially done by the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
At this event, the consumer goods company, reiterated its commitment to investing in Nigeria and its support towards the Federal Government’s diversification efforts. The new local production of P&G’s Feminine Care product not only promotes inclusive growth but is also boosting job creation and value adds to the economy.
Speaking at the meeting, Managing Director of Procter and Gamble Nigeria, George Nassar, commended the Ministry’s gesture to engage local businesses saying, “We praise the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment on their willingness to engage local suppliers and assess the capability of their businesses. That, on its own, is very encouraging and we believe today’s meeting is pivotal to accelerating our local sourcing projects.”
According to Nassar, “P&G Nigeria currently procures 100 percent of the packaging materials for its products locally and is working towards increasing the local sourcing of the raw materials we use. We will continue to partner with the government in our quest to achieve this.
“P&G is committed to doing business with more locally owned businesses and we appreciate the role the Federal Government is playing towards improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria and as a business will continue to foster a strong partnership with them to boost this effort.”
He also charged the Federal Government to continue its efforts towards enabling local entrepreneurship development and helping them with the capabilities required to produce raw materials locally.
“This will go a long way in actualizing its economic development agenda,” he said.
Speaking on the objectives of the meetings; Temitope Iluyemi, Director of Government Relations and Public Policy for Procter & Gamble Africa Operations said; “Backward integration is essential to the growth of the Nigerian economy and P&G’s aim is to manufacture as close as possible to its consumers, encourage our global partners to do the same and thereby promote technology transfer.
“We will work to pre-qualify local suppliers for materials used in the production of consumer packaged products and by extension, build capability of local manufacturers to compete effectively in regional value chains and further strengthen the diversification efforts of the Nigerian government”
Dr Francis Alaneme, Deputy Director Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment also commented, saying, “We want to increase the local sourcing of raw materials in the country and it is imperative to create opportunities like this to promote growth and provide a platform for cross-sharing and capability building.
“Partnering with corporate organizations like P&G to engage these businesses will grant us more access to notable suppliers of raw materials in the manufacturing sector and we commend the company’s effort in taking the lead on this.”
P&G has a long-standing record of building capability of local businesses for growth and development and enabling local entrepreneurship development. The company has trained hundreds of SMEs and has been involved in a series of skills building programs.
In 2015, it partnered with National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), to host a symposium, bringing together leading academics, thought leaders, local entrepreneurs and industry members to discuss the critical issues of development in technology to promote growth through research and technology transfer in Africa.
Through the engagement sessions, all parties hope to explore ways of ensuring raw material inputs are effectively sourced locally; carve out strategies to mitigate the challenges that are being faced and ultimately help local suppliers meet the requirements needed to better support the Nigerian manufacturing sector.
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