Nigerian Breweries urges respect for rule of law in dispute with NLRC

Nigerian Breweries Plc said on Wednesday it has always ensured that it complies with all legitimate demands of government agencies which are in accordance with the rule of law and has never sought to or seek to deprive government of its legitimate revenue.

The brewing company spoke through a statement released by its Head of Government Relations, Vivian Ikem, who said that Nigerian Breweries, since it was established over 70 years ago, has remained one of the highest contributors to government revenue through taxes and levies paid to various levels of government.

She noted that in 2017 alone, the company paid N75bn by way of taxes and other levies to the treasury at both the federal and state levels.

On the ongoing dispute with the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), the brewing company said that as a law abiding corporate citizen, Nigerian Breweries has always ensured that all its consumer sales promotions are vetted and approved by the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

It further said that the NLRC last week shut down its Corporate headquarters in Iganmu, Lagos and two other offices in Abuja over demand for payment of certain disputed fees which the Commission claims is owed to it from various Consumer Promo carried out by the brewing company. The company pointed out that no court order was presented by the officials of NLRC prior to shutting down its operations.

Prior to the recent dispute and office closures by the NLRC, the company said that the Nigeria Employer Consultative Association (NECA) on behalf of its member companies (including Nigerian Breweries Plc) had filed a law suit at the Federal High Court (FHC) in suite no: FHC/ABJ/CS/306/12 against NLRC challenging its powers to regulate consumer sales promo in the country more so as they form part of the marketing and sales activities of the concerned companies.

Continuing, she said that the matter is subsisting at the Court of Appeal in Suite No: CA/A/267/2016, the appeal having been brought at the instance of the Commission. A Cross-Appeal was subsequently instituted by NECA against the decision of the Federal High Court.

The company said it is committed to winning with Nigeria and will continue to engage with all the appropriate stakeholders while seeking to protect and uphold its reputation as a good corporate citizen in the country.

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