Ambode strengthens partnership with Guinness Nigeria in transformation drive amidst reproval
On November 7, 2015, in a piece titled Paralyzed,the Economist blamed the Executive Governor of Lagos state, Akinwunmi Ambode for the endless challenges trailing the state, as well as reversing some of the progress in traffic and security, made by his predecessor, Babatunde Fashola. The piece went on to outline problems associated with traffic, security and mass migration while accusing Ambode of being full of excuses and only offering very few solutions.
As convincing as the piece appeared, Ambode appears to be seeking new ways to tackle the challenges facing Lagos state and one of them could be the partnership between the Lagos state government and Guinness Nigeria.
During a courtesy call to the governor yesterday, CEO, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Peter Ndegwa, expressed gratitude to the state government for the provision of critical infrastructure and support shown to the manufacturing industry within the state. He also pledged Guinness’ support as Ambode takes steps to transform the state, believing Guinness has been a creator of wealth and will continue to do so as a way of aiding development.
“Guinness Nigeria, with over 1, 500 employees, considers Lagos as its home and an important place for doing business seeing as it is the host community of our headquarters and our largest brewery in Nigeria. We are proud of the partnership which we have forged with the government over the years and we shall continue to run our business in a responsible manner that creates wealth for this great country. It is our desire to continue to empower many of the local communities from which we source our raw materials by increasing the proportion of our local input raw materials to 70%”, Ndegwa said.
In response, Governor Ambode promised to improve the road transport networks in the state. To show his commitment, the governor visited several road construction sites yesterday, including the Apapa Port Link road, Isolo-Daleko, Ladipo Canal roads, to inspect ongoing work. Vanguard Nigeria reports that in an appeal to the federal government, he pointed out that work on the Apapa Container Terminal Bridge, which is a federal project, could ease traffic in that axis. Also, he promised to restore state roads to good working conditions once the debt owed by the federal government, is paid. “Yes, it’s true that the federal government is owing Lagos N51 billion, but the federal government is saying that some conditions must be met. With the part that is free from encumbrances, which is almost about N30billion, if the Federal Government gives that to us, I will be able to do more roads”, Ambode said.
He also said security is being handled through the provision of street lights in and around the Ikeja-metropolis. Furthermore, he praised Guinness Nigeria for its corporate social responsibility (CSR) through partnerships and initiatives in collaboration with the state as well as their desire to improve the well-being of Lagos state. “We are also excited that the Guinness Nigeria factory, which is located in the capital of Lagos, Ikeja, is a significant landmark for us. This is in line with our commitment to showcase Ikeja, as the real capital of the State as well as a hub of manufacturing and commercial activities,” Ambode asserted.
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