BRITAIN’S deputy high commissioner to Abuja Ben Llewellyn-Jones has commended Guinness Nigeria for promoting job creation and scholarship schemes in the country and for being a credible taxpayer.
Speaking during a recent courtesy visit to the Guinness facility in Benin City the Edo State capital, to attend the Guinness Nigeria Scholarship Award Ceremony, Mr Llewellyn-Jones praised the company for its role in developing Nigeria. Among other things, Guinness Nigeria’s Water of Life initiative provides potable water to over 500,000 Nigerians and the company also provides Guinness eye hospitals in three cities in Nigeria.
Mr Llewellyn-Jones said: “Guinness Nigeria Benin is a big employer and taxpayer and it is contributing massively to the state and country. It is a British business and we are keen that it gets all the support it needs to enable it to grow, expand and continue to support jobs in Nigeria.
“We are impressed with the team and its management style and we are really supportive of its future.” A subsidiary of Diageo of the United Kingdom, Guinness Nigeria was incorporated in 1962 with the building of a brewery in Ikeja, in Lagos State and has since opened two other Nigerian plants, including the one in Benin that was built in 1973.
Rotimi Odusola the company secretary of Guinness Nigeria, described the UK diplomat’s visit to the Benin site and his participation in the scholarship presentation as notable. He added that the annual Guinness Nigeria scholarship scheme is part of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes to support students across the country, especially from the company’s host communities.
Mr Odusola said: “21 undergraduates from tertiary institutions in the country were given cash awards each at this ceremony under the 2021 scholarship scheme.” Aside from the scholarships, Mr Odusola disclosed that the company extended its CSR to many communities by providing potable water, economic empowerment schemes and eye care programmes.
He also stated that Guinness Nigeria had continued to create jobs for over 180,000 people in its value chain and is a source of livelihood to over 27,000 sorghum farmers. According to Mr Odusola, the Edo State Internal Revenue Service recently commended the Guinness Benin office for complying with tax obligations in the state.
Two of the scholarship scheme beneficiaries, Richard Eromosele and Larry Eguasa, from Oregbeni, the firm’s host community in Benin, lauded Guinness for supporting their academic pursuits.