In line with its commitment to Nigeria’s socio-economic development, Nigeria’s foremost total beverage company, Guinness Nigeria Plc has empowered 90 women with trade assets and simple business training through the company’s Plan W-empowerment programme. Forty other individuals received seed capital to start up or scale up their trade through the Orijin-Osun Osogbo partnership empowerment scheme.
Guinness Nigeria’s’ Corporate Relations Director, Mr Rotimi Odusola, explained at a two-day event that climaxed at the Palace of the Ataoja of Osogbo that the empowerment programme is part of the company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives aimed at growing the capacities of the underrepresented in Nigeria, in line with the Organizations Society 2030: Spirit of Progress campaign- a 10-year action plan towards the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Prior to the Osogbo activity, Odusola said that the Plan W-empowerment initiative had been initiated in the South-East and North-West of Nigeria benefiting over 500 women.
“By investing in more women, we hope to have a sustainable impact in the societies and economies where we operate. The Plan W-empowerment programme aligns with our sustainability plan under the three pillars of leadership in alcohol in society, building thriving communities and reducing our environmental impact in the communities where we operate. We believe that the programme, empowering these women, will make a significant contribution to the development of thriving communities in Nigeria” Odusola said.
Commenting on the Orijin-Osun Osogbo partnership, Uche Onwudiwe, Marketing Manager, Mainstream Spirit and RTDs said “empowering men and women living in Osogbo is one of the programmes put in place as part of our expansive yearly sponsorship of the Osun Osogbo festival. Apart from the thrills that Orijin delivers, we have had wonderful support from the palace since the relationship began last year in ensuring that we continue to inspire people to stay true to who they are, their roots, because that is when they can truly be at their best.
Oba Jimoh Abidemi Oyetunji Olanipekun, the Ataoja of Osogbo, expressed gratitude to Guinness for sponsoring the Osun Osogbo festival under the Orijin brand. All of the recipients, according to Oba Oyetunji Olanipekun, should make accountability their watchword and ensure that they use the skills they learned throughout the programme to create and grow their businesses. The recipients, who came from several councils and wards in Osogbo, were taught skills like bookkeeping and accounting that would help them build their enterprises.
Mrs Bolanle Kaffi, a representative of the Commissioner of Women Affairs and a deputy director in the Ministry, thanked Guinness Nigeria for their support and pledged that the Ministry would continue to provide the necessary guidance and counselling to the beneficiaries.
Mrs Iyabo Subuloye, speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, thanked Guinness Nigeria for supporting the growth and development of small and medium-sized enterprises in Osogbo. She promised that all of the beneficiaries would use the skills they learned in the training to grow and build on the trade assets they received, as well as spend their seed capital judiciously.
It would be recalled that as part of the firm’s diversity and inclusion policy, Diageo, Guinness Nigeria’s parent company, became the first alcoholic beverage corporation to sign up to the United Nations Women Empowerment Principle (UNWEP).