L-R: Ijeoma Felix Amadi, Chidinma Echeonwu, both beneficiaries; Hon. Barr. George Ariolu, Executive Chairman of Obio/Akpor LGA; Uchechi Ariolu, a beneficiary, and Mr. Ekuma Eze, Public Affairs and Communications Director, NBC, during the presentation of start-up equipment to 20 women at Oginigba in Port Harcourt

Coca-Cola, NBC donate business start-up equipment to vulnerable Nigerians

*The Nigerian Bottling Company Limited and Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited said the ‘Making a Difference’ intervention programme was a continuation of The Coca-Cola System’s support for Nigerian consumers adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

In furtherance of its efforts at supporting communities and governments to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, The Coca-Cola System in Nigeria, comprising Nigerian Bottling Company Limited (NBC) and Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, has donated business start-up tools to women and youths in communities in Aba, Abia State, and in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, under its post COVID-19 community interventions.

A statement from the group said the beneficiaries, who had earlier been trained by Genius Hub, a local Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), on behalf of the Coca-Cola System, July 14, 2021, received shoe-making and tailoring equipment to start their businesses and begin their journey to self-reliance through entrepreneurship.

The statement noted that The Coca-Cola System, which has always supported its stakeholders and communities with positive and impactful interventions, implemented the programme with funds from The Coca-Cola Foundation.

In relation to the programme, the beneficiaries beaming with smiles while receiving the equipment, expressed gratitude to The Coca-Cola System.

They noted that the gesture would improve their economic status in the economy.

Mrs. Gift Ejike, one of the beneficiaries, said: “I am very grateful for this sewing machine and other fashion designing equipment given to me, and I want to thank you, Nigerian Bottling Company and Coca-Cola Nigeria.

“You have not only given us fish, but you have also taught us how to fish,”

Elder Azubuike Erondu, another beneficiary and a community leader, also commended the NBC and Coca-Cola Nigeria for the intervention.

Erondu, who described it as a more sustainable approach to helping communities overcome the economic disruptions caused by the pandemic, said “the NBC and Coca-Cola Nigeria have done excellently well for us, and we are grateful.”

He further stated: “This is a timely intervention, especially for people who are still recovering from the effects of the pandemic. The pandemic affected businesses and brought untold hardship on many people.

“But through this intervention, we have gained valuable skills and received start-up equipment and support to launch our businesses and create value.”

Ekuma Eze, Director of Public Affairs and Communications of NBC, commenting on the intervention, tagged ‘Making a Difference’, said that the programme was a continuation of The Coca-Cola System’s support for Nigerians adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NBC Director of Public Affairs and Communications stated: “We are witnesses to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially to families, small businesses, artisans and other vulnerable Nigerians.

“As a responsible organisation committed to the growth of our communities, we believe this initiative will support and empower vulnerable people in our communities to regain their feet post-pandemic.”

Eze noted “we also recognise the critical role and contributions of the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector to the Nigerian economy.

“Therefore, this intervention will not only lift the beneficiaries out of their present predicament, but it also presents an important avenue to stimulate the growth of this important sector.”

While assuring that the equipment grant was a precursor to many more rewarding programs to support host communities, he commended its implementing partner, Genius Hub, for the diligent execution of the programme, and the System’s commitment to the welfare of Nigerians.

In his remarks on the occasion, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, said: “Without a doubt, entrepreneurship remains a veritable tool to promote economic empowerment and build a sustainable economy for the benefit of us all.

“This is why, for the past 70 years, we have remained committed to continually unlock new vistas of opportunities for our people and communities to thrive.”

The statement further explained that ‘Making a Difference’ programme is the latest COVID-19 and post-pandemic intervention by the Coca-Cola System in Nigeria.

Earlier, the company was said to have launched a food relief intervention to support vulnerable households in the wake of the pandemic.

The System also donated over 13 million centilitres of its beverages, including Eva premium table water and soft drinks, to provide hydration and nourishment for patients and healthcare workers at Isolation and Treatment Centres across different states in the country.

Aside from these, both companies have supported the Federal Ministry of Health and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to develop risk communication materials to complement the government’s public education and mobilisation initiatives in the fight against the Coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Kindly Share This Story