Following the successful merger between foremost brewer, Nigerian Breweries Plc and Consolidated Breweries Plc which was concluded in December 2014, products of the latter have started feeling the quality mark which NB Plc is noted for. The latest brand to experience this unique turnaround is More lager beer which is brewed in Makurdi, Benue State.
Speaking during the media briefing for the elaborate relaunch which took place in Makurdi, Corporate Affairs Adviser, NB Plc, Mr. Kufre Ekanem said the relaunch of More is meant to reinforce the heritage embedded in the product and its connection with consumers in Benue State and environ. “Our enlarged Company embarked on an upgrade of the Makurdi brewery to deliver on stakeholder expectations and reflect the world class standard of Nigerian Breweries Plc. This upgrade has led to the enhancement of the brewery’s infrastructure and production process which is evident in the improved quality of More Lager beer that offers our consumers a new taste experience.”
He stressed that today’s More Lager Beer, “still proudly brewed in Benue and is comparable to any quality beer of repute. More lager is specially brewed in controlled manner under closely monitored processes to confine with precise parameters which gives the beer that special aroma and taste that is uniquely Benue.”
On the investment potentials of the brewery, Ekanem pointed out that the investments in upgrading the Makurdi brewery and enhancing the brand represents a bold attempt to showcase the company’s commitment to the people of Benue State. “As the brewery responsible for brewing More Lager Beer, a brand wholly produced with locally sourced raw materials, this investment totaling over N1 billion for 2015 alone, highlights our confidence in the fundamentals of the local economy to provide the enabling macroeconomic environment for businesses to thrive. This brewery and the ancillary industries that support the business, will impact the economy of this region in diverse ways. It will create employment, increase non-oil revenue generation to different tiers of Government and contribute to improved standard of living in the area.”
Beyond the economic investments, Ekanem stated that the company remains firmly committed to its societal responsibility as part of its philosophy of winning with Nigeria. To this end, it has, since 2014, constructed and commissioned a block of six classrooms and a library furnished with tables and chairs at NKST Primary School, Angwar, Gboko. Similarly, it also constructed and commissioned a school block of three classrooms and an office at NKST primary School Agbaikyor, Fiidi in Makurdi.
Currently, there is an ongoing renovation of three blocks of classrooms and construction of three toilets at NKST Gaadi Primary School, KM 5 Gboko Road, Makurdi. Also, plans have been concluded for the construction of a school block of three classrooms and a library at Mbaiwyem Community Secondary School, Yaikyo, Makurdi. “This is just one dimension of our commitment to Winning with Nigeria, a philosophy that has guided the company’s operations since 1946.” Ekanem said.
Prior to the press briefing the Benue State Governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom had visited the fully upgraded Makurdi brewery where he commended the company for the bold step it took in acquiring the brewery and for injecting funds that led to its overhauling which gave birth to the new More lager, a proud heritage of Benue. He also unveiled a “giant replica bottle” of the new More Lager beer and planted a commemorative tree.
Governor Ortom further applauded the company’s drive of sourcing its raw materials locally, a strategy he says will go a long way in empowering local farmers thereby boosting the local economy. “The government is committed to providing support to the brewery for the giant strides it has already taken. Similar industries were established in the 1980s but are now moribund; it is great to know that the Makurdi Brewery is still functioning, so I join my people in commending you for repackaging the product which now looks good and tastes better. I want to assure you that you’ve found a partner in us as we strive to create jobs and opportunities for our people so that our primary products can be processed. Benue is the food basket of the nation and your local sourcing initiative will ensure that the state continues to benefit in this capacity”.