The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has said the plan by the multinational beverage company, Coca-Cola, to invest $1 billion in Nigeria in the next five years testifies to the possibilities in the economy despite challenges.

Osinbajo, who spoke on Monday evening in Lagos, at the 70th anniversary gala of the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) said, “your ongoing investment in the country, which I am told will be in the order of $1 billion in the next five years, testifies to your faith in the possibilities of Nigeria.”

“And you can rely on the partnership of the Nigerian government, (and I dare say the Nigerian people too) as you make these great strides,” he assured.

While narrating his personal and family stories about drinking Coke, including how he drank two bottles of Coke a day up until 2017, the Vice President reiterated the Buhari administration’s commitment to creating an environment that allows the private sector innovate and thrive remains active and sincere, despite the challenges.

According to him, government would continue to work with businesses across the broad spectrum of the economy to ensure this is done with a clear view of the opportunities and problems of the day.

Osinbajo further stressed that in the 70 years that the company has operated in Nigeria, it has demonstrated, “commitment to the Nigerian people with repeated investments, in the building of production facilities across the country, in creating thousands of jobs but also in your active support of every aspect of our national life, from health to education, from women and youth empowerment to sports. All done with conscious respect for the environment.”

“I think it is fair to say that the commitment has been met with the enthusiastic patronage of generations of Nigerians; families who have been supported by the stable careers of staff who have grown with the company through the years.”

He also explained that, “young people who have found successful careers in sports and entertainment inspired by your support; consumers from Lagos to Kano, Rivers to Plateau, linked by distributors in every region of the country, who have built enduring businesses getting Coca Cola into the hands of millions; a robust value chain that includes service providers and marketing agencies, creators of the iconic Coke adverts that have formed part of our individual and collective memories all these years.”

Also speaking, the Chairman of NBC Board, Ambassador Segun Apata, recalled the company’s growth and contribution to the economy and noted that the company will continue in its 70 years tradition of investing in the economy as well as impacting its host communities through several initiatives, especially for the youth.