Nigerian Breweries says it paid N16bn tax in Fiscal Year 2015, employed 4,000

Nigerian Breweries Plc, said it paid N16bn in taxes to the Federal government for Fiscal Year 2015 and employed 4,000 in direct labour.

The brewer of Star Lager, Gulder, among others said that the beer industry in the country grew by only 1% in 2015, while beer consumption per person stood at 11 litres.

Mr. Nicolaas Vervelde, Managing Director, Nigerian Breweries made the information known over the weekend during the company’s Pre-Annual General Meeting (AGM) media briefing held in Lagos.

He said “Employment-wise, the company has 4,000 Nigerians on its payrolls across its 11 beer plants and two malt production plants across the country, while 280,000 people have been indirectly employed by its transporters, distributors and other ancillary businesses.” Vervelde added that the slow growth in the economy in terms of lower oil prices, fall in the value of the Naira, scarcity of foreign exchange, low purchasing power of consumers are some economic indices that affected the industry like other businesses in the country.

He noted that the brewery industry has been undergoing slow growth for four consecutive years, adding that the sector grew by 1% last year compared to 9% to 10% recorded in the years before 2010. He said that the slight growths recorded in the industry were in the areas of product innovation and expansion of beer plants through acquisition. Vervelde said that the company was still the leading brewer in the industry with 20 product categories, 11 beer plants and two malting plants spread across the country.

Speaking on the per capita beer consumption in Nigeria, the MD of Nigerian Breweries said “Although, 23% of Nigerian population is middle-class, yet per capita consumption of beer is low compared to markets across the globe.

“In Nigeria with a population of over 170 million, it is 11 litres, whereas in Brazil with 200 million in population, per capita consumption of beer is 70 litres, Russia 64 litres, Mexico 60 litres and South Africa, it is 60 litres per person; Burundi 40 litres, Cameroun 40 litres and Sub-Saharan Africa 17 litres. The last time Nigeria had high per capita consumption of beer was 1984, and it was 17 litres per person.”

Answering questions on the impact of their business on the economy, Vervelde, said that the company has been doing business in Nigeria for 70 years, adding that government, host communities; shareholders feel their positive socio-economic impacts.

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