By Joy Odigie
Guinness Nigeria Plc says it is ready to collaborate with Edo Government for empowerment of women, as well as Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) in schools.
Its Managing Director, John Musunga, made this known on Thursday in Benin, during a courtesy visit to Gov. Godwin Obaseki.
Musunga said that Guinness team in Benin would work with Edo Government on the partnership arrangement for the empowerment of women into its “Plan W” women’s empowerment programme to create more jobs for Edo people.
“You got the right team to address the issue of school TVET, park beautification and logistics. We can craft responses shortly as to what we can do in the medium and long term,” he told Obaseki.
He said that doing business in Edo had been fairly stable, commending the Obaseki-led administration for its infrastructure development.
“For the last six years, we have seen infrastructure development. You have lit up the streets and movement is much easier.
“We did not have disruption in Benin during the election cycle; we were still able to produce and move our goods across the country.
“Our business has been fairly stable in Benin and giving us the confidence to continue to invest here,” Musunga said.
He also intimated the governor about the company’s investment drives as well as corporate social responsibilities in the state.
“We have put in about four million pounds and we will be commissioning our new water treatment plant. It will be ready for full commissioning in the next few weeks.
“The plant treats about 80 per cent of all our effluent water and it is recycled back to a point where you can drink it.
“However, we will only be using it in ancillary functions like cleaning.
“We have the Water for Life programme and have given water to communities in Benin in the last 20 years. We are here to stay,” the managing director said.
He, however, noted that the issue of forex was a challenge to the company’s business investment plan in the country.
In his remarks, Obaseki said his administration was working round the clock to make the state conducive for investors to do business.
“As a government, we are encouraging people to come and do business in the state. We are putting a transport hub together; we are building parks to organise transportation better,” the governor said.
He said his administration was concerned about skills and capacity building, urging the Guinness Benin factory to adopt Western Boys High School as a TVET centre.
“We are emphasising TVET and you have a school opposite your factory which we would like you to adopt.
“We would like to build a TVET centre; we will like kids to go there, train kids who will one day work within your factory as senior engineers.
“We are trying to make our city beautiful and attractive. We are building more parks and greening the city.
“You have a park close to you; we can come up with a design so that you can adopt that space,” Obaseki said.