Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Friday commissioned a $100 million state-of-the-art premium diaper brand, Huggies, and leading sanitary pad brand- Kotex’s factory at Odogunyan in Ikorodu, Lagos.
The new plant, built by Kimberly-Clark Nigeria, is in furtherance of the company’s vision to provide “better care for a better world.”
Operations at the facility, which spans 14,800 square meters of a total land plot of 86,000m², 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.
Some of the guests at the event included the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Richard Adebayo; Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba; Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen; House of Representative member (Ikorodu constituency), Babajimi Benson; U.S. Consul General, Claire Pierangelo; President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mansur Ahmed; CEO, American Business Council, Margaret Olele.
Mr Osinbajo said the multimillion-dollar investment is 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,” said Mr Osinbajo.
“The company has led, commendably, important social investments, including, sponsoring the education of the Dream catchers 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.”
Recognising members of the female-led management team, whom he called “Amazons”, Mr 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 succour to the people of Ikorodu,” said the governor.
“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, said Nigeria is one of the company’s top priority markets.
“This is one of our most substantial investments on the continent, to increase and strengthen our presence here,” he said.
“Our new state-of-the-art mill is a symbol of our commitment to this country and the opportunity for growth that exists.”
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.
During the ceremony, the management team at Kimberly-Clark announced the company’s intention to grant scholarships to 20 student-girls of the popular Ikorodu talent-raising NGO, Dream-Catchers Academy.