Kimberly-Clark Nigeria, makers of one of the trusted diaper brands, Huggies and female sanitary products, Kotex, has inaugurated a new factory in Ikorodu, Lagos, in furtherance of its vision to provide “better care for a better world”. The new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility is equipped with enhanced technology and capabilities to better serve its consumers. Operations at the facility commenced in the final quarter of 2021, but the official inauguration date was scheduled for later in compliance with the company’s COVID regulations and guidelines for hosting gatherings.
The exceptional event was attended by note-worthy dignitaries, including the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E. Prof Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON; Executive Governor, Lagos State, H.E. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; First Lady Lagos State,Dr. Claudiana Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu represented by Zamba; Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment, Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo; Honourable Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba; Honourable Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen; Federal House of Representative member (Ikorodu constituency), Honourable Babajimi Benson; U.S. Consul General, Claire Pierangelo; President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Engineer Mansur Ahmed; CEO, American Business Council, Margaret Olele; amidst other special dignitaries.
The new factory was commissioned by the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, SAN, GCON, who lauded the multimillion-dollar investment as being strategically aligned with the present administration’s drive for domestic production and human capital development.
“Kimberly-Clark West Africa has grown from just being an investor in Nigeria to a formidable partner in the actualization of Nigeria’s economic objectives, by adding value through diversification. The company has led, commendably, important social investments, including, sponsoring the education of the Dreamcatchers who danced here, just a few moments ago. This factory, I trust, will only signal the beginning of greater investment in this and other sectors.”
In addition to enhancing the company’s manufacturing capacity to meet the increasing demand for quality and safe baby care and essential feminine products, Kimberly-Clark Nigeria’s new state-of-the-art facility will contribute to already established efforts to improve livelihood and create job opportunities, especially for the Ikorodu community.
Recognizing members of the female-led management team, whom he called “Amazons”, the Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency Babajide Sanwo-Olu, acknowledged the importance for the Ikorodu community.
“We are excited and happy with the value to Ikorodu and its environs. We are taking up the challenge to ensure an enabling environment for investors to thrive, and bring succor to the people of Ikorodu. And so, I want to join everyone to thank and congratulate Kimberly-Clark for this great feat. As a government, we will continue to open up and continue to give opportunities to everyone.”
The U.S. Consul-General, Claire Pierangelo, also commended the company’s investment in the country and reiterated the pride at its fulfilled promise and achievements despite the challenges associated with business during and after the pandemic.
In 2019, the company had communicated its plans to shut down its factory, following a strategic review of its business model. It was explained that the factory closure would allow the company to be more flexible to invest in growth opportunities and compete even more effectively in Nigeria. Now, less than two years later, Kimberly-Clark is fulfilling its promise.
Fernando Baticon, Acting Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Kimberly-Clark, Middle East, and Africa, commented on the importance of the Nigerian market to Kimberly-Clark, saying,
“Nigeria is one of our top priority markets. This is one of our most substantial investments on the continent, t0 increase and strengthening our presence here. Our new state-of-the-art mill is a symbol of our commitment to this country and the opportunity for growth that exists.”
Also recognizing the efforts of the company’s strategic partner, Multipro (part of the Tolaram conglomerate), the acting VP for the Middle East and Africa specially thanked the representatives of the company present.
“The facility spans an impressive 14,800m² area of a total land plot of 86,000m². In addition to being symbolic of Kimberly-Clark’s vision for growth in Nigeria, it is already delivering high-quality essential hygiene and personal care products using best-in-class production assets. Kimberly-Clark began operations in Nigeria in 2012, with the introduction of Huggies diapers into the Nigerian market in 2015 and Kotex sanitary pads in 2019. It continues to create impact not only through high quality and affordable products but also through associated initiatives such as She-Sabi, which is geared towards improving the lives of young girls in secondary schools, and the Huggies® hospital sampling program which reaches expectant mothers with key information about how to help babies stay healthy and comfortable.”
General Manager, Kimberly-Clark Nigeria, Vani Malik, reiterated the company’s commitment to investing in the country’s socio-economic development and growth,
“It has been our long-term objective to strengthen our organization’s presence and investments in Nigeria, and today, almost ten years on, with over $100 million in FDI, we are proud to unveil our new factory here in Ikorodu, Lagos state. Employing over 200 people, will not only help us serve Nigeria better but also allow us to serve as an export hub for Africa in the near future. As an important step forward in our commitment to Nigeria’s economic diversification agenda, we look forward to continued success and support. We remain committed to the implementation of Nigeria’s national roadmap for industrialization – to create jobs, substitute imports and boost exports. This is a symbol of our commitment to our global vision of providing Better Care for a Better World. In Nigeria, we fulfill that vision by supporting babies, women, mothers, and young girls.”
During the ceremony, the management team at Kimberly-Clark announced the company’s intention to grant scholarships to the twenty (20) student-girls of the popular Ikorodu talent-raising NGO, Dream-Catchers Academy. This charitable move, which was lauded by stakeholders present at the event, reiterated the company’s commitment to providing better care for a better world.
Bringing the event to a close, Government Relations Manager, Kimberly-Clark Nigeria, Zainab Obagun, emphasized the company’s gratitude to stakeholders for their strong partnerships, evidenced by their presence.
“We at Kimberly-Clark Nigeria continue to look forward to continued partnerships with our distributors, manufacturers, various economic and political stakeholders and most especially our consumers. We are assured of steady growth because of the valuable relationships we have built over the years. We thank our partners for the commitment and look forward to more with them by our side.”
Kimberly-Clark is committed to continuing to invest in its status as a world-class local manufacturer and promises to continue to provide Nigerian consumers with top-quality essential hygiene and personal care products.