By G9ija

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The Coca-Cola System in Nigeria, comprising Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC), and Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, has commemorated its 70 years of refreshing Nigeria with an Anniversary Gala.

The celebration, which was held at the Eko Hotels & Suites, Lagos, on Monday, 22nd November 2021, had the Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; Deputy Governor, Lagos State, Obafemi Hamzat and a host of top dignitaries and key stakeholders across Nigeria in attendance.

The event presented an opportunity for the Coca-Cola System to host and honour its long-standing partners and stakeholders for their contributions to the growth of the business over the past 7 decades. Guests were taken down memory lane with a Coca-Cola Museum which captured the rich heritage of the System from inception. Appreciation awards were also given to 70 stakeholders whose support and collaboration have been significant to the success of the System in Nigeria. In addition, guests were treated to a thrilling drama performance by the Terra Kulture Group, which portrayed the diverse culture and progress of the System through its years of operations.

In his opening remarks, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Bottling Company, Matthieu Seguin said, “This feat is indeed a huge testament of resilience, and we are beyond excited to celebrate 7 decades of refreshing Nigerians. We owe our success story to our people and employees for their unwavering hard work and contribution to the growth of the System; our customers, who are our treasures and our partners and communities who in good days and bad days, remain with us.  Thank you very much and we look forward to the next 70 years.”

His Excellency, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, lauded the impact of the Coca-Cola System in the last 70 years, commenting on the contributions of the System to the Nigerian economy, as well as to the people through its consistent Corporate Social Responsibility. He said “I’m very pleased to be here to join to you to celebrate 70yrs of Coca-Cola in Nigeria and I congratulate the board and members of Coca-Cola company. In these 70 years, you’ve demonstrated your commitment to the Nigerian people as we have recorded repeated investments in the building of production facilities across the country, creating thousands of jobs and also in your active support of every aspect of our societies from health, education, women & youth empowerment, sports, amongst others. I believe it’s fair to say that your commitment has recorded immense success for the past 7 decades. Youths have found successful careers in sports & entertainment inspired by your support, consumers from across the country and distributors in every region have also built enduring businesses by getting Coca-Cola products in the hands of millions of Nigerians, to mention a few. I salute again the entire board of the Coca-Cola System and the group of stakeholders present here today and across the region and I wish you all a very happy 70th anniversary and I pray the coming years will be years of real magic.”

Also speaking, the Managing Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria Ltd, Alfred Olajide  said, “Our critical success driver is our culture of joint accountability we have as partners and how we leverage on the strengths and capabilities of both sides of the business to continue to bring moments of optimism, refreshments and excitements to our consumers while also working closely with our customers and the wider community to ensure we deliver value.”

In his keynote remark, which was delivered virtually, Zoran Bogdanovic, Chief Executive Officer, Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (CCHBC) said, “We are honoured that through our value chain, we have been able to directly and indirectly support livelihood for millions of Nigerians. Asides marking our 70th year anniversary, tonight is also a celebration of resilience, dedication, and purpose. Nigeria is a key market for us and, our business and the partnerships we have built in this amazing country have become a metaphor for endless possibilities. In the face of rapid changes in the operations over these past 7 decades, we have demonstrated tenacity, resilience, and commitment to continue to evolve; so that we can remain relevant to our customers, partners, and communities. For this we are grateful to the 7 generations of employees, who have gone above and beyond, every day to deliver on our commitments. We are also greatly indebted to the generations of customers who are our partners in progress”.

Over the past 70 years of its foray into the country, the Coca-Cola System has made significant contributions to the socio-economic transformation of Nigeria and impacting positively on its people and communities. The System has leveraged its diverse CSR initiatives that across Youth and Women Empowerment, Water Stewardship, Education and Human Capital Development and Sports to make a remarkable difference in the fortunes of millions of Nigerians.