Nestlé & Youth  in Europe

From Benjamin A Ameh, Lagos

Nestlé has pledged to create 20,000 positions for young people across Europe over the next three years.

The Nestlé needs YOUth Initiative will offer jobs to 10,000 people under the age of 30 and create 10,000 apprentice positions and traineeships by 2016.

“Today, one in four young people in Europe does not have a job,” said Laurent Freixe, Nestlé Executive Vice-President and Zone Director for Europe.

He was speaking at the Nestlé needs YOUth launch event in Athens, the capital of Greece, a country where more than half of those under the age of 25 are without work.

Growing in Europe

“Think of the impact on our society if these young people are left on the margins, without income, without a future, without hope.”

“As we continue to grow and invest in Europe, we want to do all we can to strengthen and develop their skills, and improve their employability, regardless of their level of education,” he said.

According to the press statement on the company’s website revealed that the initiative, the first of its kind on such a scale, is built upon the company’s continued commitment to investing in Europe throughout the economic crisis, Mr Freixe added.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said the initiative illustrated the unique role that the private sector could play in helping to resolve Europe’s jobs crisis.

“We have to recognise that whereas governments can facilitate and support job creation, only private companies can create jobs or training opportunities,” he said.

This initiative aims to harness the dynamism of its youth so that they can look, with confidence, to a brighter future.

Laurent Freixe, Nestlé Executive Vice-President and Zone Director for Europe

The European Union’s Commissioner for Education, Androulla Vassiliou also welcomed Nestlé needs YOUth as an example of how the private sector can contribute to Europe’s recovery.

“I am delighted that Nestlé has launched this initiative to strengthen and develop the employability of young people across Europe. It contributes to our efforts so that young people are not left without hope or opportunity. 20,000 young people will get the chance to enter the job market which shows that the private sector can clearly make a difference to tackle the problem of youth unemployment. We expect that such actions will trigger more similar initiatives from other stakeholders.” Mrs Vassiliou said.

All the Nestlé teams in Europe will contribute to the initiative. For example, Nestlé will hire 3,000 young people in France, 2,420 in Germany, 1,250 in Spain and 1,080 in Italy over the three-year period, including both direct recruitment and apprenticeship/traineeships positions.

Different roles

All sectors will have roles, providing a range of opportunities for those interested in Nestlé’s wide variety of careers, including manufacturing, administration, Human Resources, sales, marketing, finance, engineering and R&D.

A BRIGHTER FUTURE:

Nestlé’s Youth Employment Initiative aims to help young people in Europe get skilled and get hired.

As part of the initiative, there will also be a small number of roles specifically designed to give those from southern Europe invaluable experience working for Nestlé abroad – in Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria, Nordics and the UK.

Brighter future

In addition, in order to facilitate the transition between school and employment, the initiative will also include a Readiness for Work programme, with career counselling, CV workshops and interview training at schools, colleges and at Nestlé sites.

Nestlé will also encourage its over 63,000 European suppliers to take part in the Nestlé needs YOUth Initiative by offering a job, apprenticeship or traineeship to young people, a programme that will be called Alliance for Youth.

“Nestlé is globally successful also because we are successful in Europe,” explained Mr Freixe. “This initiative aims to harness the dynamism of its youth so that they can look, with confidence, to a brighter future.”

LCCI

From Benjamin A Ameh, Lagos

Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) has told Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs) operators to adhere strictly to product standard sets by Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON).

Speaking at the stakeholders’ forum with the SON, Alhaji Remi Bello, the Deputy President of the LCCI representing the president of the Chamber, Mr Goodie Ibru said that there is need to produces standard products for Nigeria markets.

He implored the SON to do more about the dumping of sub-standard products in Nigeria markets, saying that these sub-standard products easily kills our locally produced goods and pushing local businesses out of business.

Deputy President, further appealed to SON in carrying out its regulatory function should create a good understanding and cooperation with the investors who are already burdened with challenges of infrastructural deficiencies, noting that most of the SMEs make provisions for electricity, water and other industry-specific facilities in the midst of poor access to affordable credit.

Bello, pointed out that LCCI has partnered with regulators in creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive. “The regulatory environment is crucial to the operations, viability and profitability of businesses in Nigeria, especially small businesses.”

Meanwhile, in Ibru’s statement, revealed that LCCI has received complaints from companies bordering on regulations and compliance and had conducted a survey on the activities of SON and their impact on businesses and found out that businesses have challenges in the areas of delay in certification of products and too frequent visits that come with costs to the companies.

Mrs Victoria Onafowokan-Obadina, the SMEs, chairperson said in her address that SON has a mandate which must be carried out in the improvement of life through standards.

Onafowokan-Obadina urged the investors in SMEs to ensure that products being brought into the country meet the required and approved standards by SON.

Mr Lous Njoku, Director, Laboratory Services, SON said that the product standard by SON is of national standard being circulated all over the world. He stated that SON has embarked on zero tolerance to sub-standard products, saying that Nigerian businessmen will go to China and demand for sub-standard as Nigeria standard products and bring them into the country.

Nestle

From Benjamin A Ameh, Lagos

Nestle Nigeria plc management has moved to encouraging Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) development among students in tertiary institutions across the country

Speaking during the official inspection to the Coffee Shop located within the Guest House of the University of Lagos recently, Head of Region, Nestle Central Africa, Mr. Kai’s Marzouki, said the company is aiming at setting up the shop to enable students grow their business skills.

Marzouki also explained that the location was deliberate as it would help the company expose the youths to the culture of coffee preparation and consumption.
“The initiative aimed at increasing the consumption of its coffee brand among Nigerian youths, has also led to increased investments in Nescafé Mobile Café across the nation’s tertiary institutions.

We intentionally considered campuses the ideal location for our coffee shops to entrench the love between the brand and the students as well as giving them the opportunities to learn essential business skills. By doing this, we are touching lives as well promoting good culture of taking coffee,” he said.
In response, the management of UNILAG, expressing his appreciation to Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Dharnesh Gordhon, stated that getting a good space for the shop has always been a challenge, adding that the management was impressed with what they have on the campus.
Gordhon, maintained that the brand was not threatened by the availability of other brands of coffee in the Nigerian market.
He said that Nestle was a strong coffee investment that cuts across different countries of the world and its strength lies in long-term investments. “Nestle Nescafe believes in long term investment and you can say that it has a lot of advantages and benefits over time.

We can’t but appreciate the management of the Unilag for the space provided for this project because having a good location on campus has always been a challenge but here we get an environment that is conducive and big enough to attend to many students,” Gordhon added.

GSK Consumer Nigeria Plc 

 

From Benjamin A Ameh, Lagos

 GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK) announced the global divestment of its Lucozade and Ribena brands to Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd (SBF), the Japanese consumer goods company. Subject to regulatory approval in Europe, the deal is expected to be completed by the end of the year, 2013.

Meanwhile the GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc (GSK Nigeria) has reiterated that despite the proposed move, they will continue to bottle and distribute nutritional drinks Lucozade and Ribena for SBF following the completion of the deal.

It was revealed that the two brands accounted for over half of GSK Nigeria’s sales and operating profit in 2012. Last year, GSK Nigeria’s sales of these brands grew 26%.

GSK Nigeria further pointed out that they have agreed the terms of an exclusive contract under which SBF will supply certain ingredients of these drinks adding that this arrangement is expected to be effective from 1st January 2014.

“The full financial impact of the new arrangement, which will be phased in over 2014 – 15, is expected to lead to a small decline in GSK Nigeria’s overall long term operating margin by some 3 to 4 percentage points. The company has stated that there is no change to its 2013 financial guidance.”

Flour Mills

From Benjamin A Ameh, Lagos

Shareholders of Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc on Wednesday approved the N2.00 per share as cash dividend which was recommended by the board for the year ended March 3, 2013.

The total of cash dividend stood at N4.8 billion, was approved by the shareholders at the annual general meeting held at Eko hotel in Lagos.

Flour Mills ended the year with revenue stood at N225.6 billion, while profit after tax increased to N8.75 billion, from N8.2 billion recorded in the previous year.

Speaking at the AGM, the Chairman of the company, George Coumantaros, assured shareholders that the company would expand its interest in food division to maintain and extend its dominant market share in flour, pasta and other food products.

Coumantaros, further said that the company would actively support federal government’s backward integration policy by expanding its agricultural holdings.

“We are determined to ensure that our agro-allied strategy provides sustainable returns on capital invested by maximising local content in group products. Raw materials would be produced locally wherever possible to ensure that good quality but fair value products are developed through the food supply chain from growing to final consumer consumption.

“Going forward, I want to assure stakeholders that we will leverage on the unassailable quality of our flagship products, Golden Penny flour, the growing popularity and market acceptability of our sugar brand: our continuous investment in new milling technology in a “green –field’ pasta factory at Agbara; synergies arising from recent group restructuring, among other investments to generate improved earnings and deliver superior shareholders value.”

Shareholders of the company commended the company’s board on the performance, while urging the company to increase their marketing skills in order to remain competitive in the industry and deliver better returns to shareholders in the next financial year.

Also speaking at the venue is the President, Professional Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Boniface Okezie, stressed the need for the company to merge its subsidiaries that are not performing well in order to increase their bottom-line and add value to shareholders’ investment.

 

by Benjamin A Ameh

 

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Agric and Non-Oil Export Group, has urged the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to improve its publicity in creating awareness in the fight against importation of smuggled goods particularly poultry products.
Chairman of the Group, Prince Wale Oyekoya, who spoke, said increased public awareness to consumers on the health hazards of consuming imported poultry products, will discourage them from patronizing smugglers of the products.

“The information dissemination is not there for people to be aware that what they are eating is deadly.

You can’t just go and be seizing products when you have not given people consuming it better information about it. Most consumers just buy, they don’t even know what they are eating is being preserved with formalin. If Customs can stop the customers patronizing them, the smugglers will have no business bringing it if there are nobody to buy”, he said.
Oyekoya who accused men of the Nigeria Customs Service of connivance with smugglers, further lamented that despite the increasing number of the products being intercepted; they still find their way into the Nigerian market through the borders thus killing local production.