As part of the celebrations for its 70th anniversary in Nigeria, the Coca-Cola system in Nigeria, comprising Coca-Cola Nigeria and its bottling partner, Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC), is retracing its community development and sustainability steps by recognizing and celebrating individuals and communities who have been impacted by its initiatives so far. This campaign tagged Nigerians of Coca-Cola — allows a diverse set of people across key regions in the country with different struggles to tell visual stories of their positive histories with the Coca-Cola System in Nigeria.
As its often known, Coca-Cola’s mission statement is “to refresh the world in mind, body, and spirit, to inspire moments of optimism and happiness through our brands and actions, and to create value and make a difference.” In leaving a legacy that attests to its philosophy, the Coca-Cola System in Nigeria has made a tremendous impact in communities across Nigeria. The Nigerians of the Coca-Cola campaign just tells a few of these stories.
In Medile Primary School in Medile Community Kano State, the system constructed a block of two classrooms, a headmaster’s office, and also provided comfortable furniture for learning. In addition to this, the ten best students from the school were given scholarships. Alh. Abdulsallam Iliya, the Principal of Handala Science College said, “No company has ever sponsored students in our community; only Coca-Cola has taken up that responsibility and it is a welcomed development.”
As part of its community empowerment initiative, the Coca-Cola system empowered eighty youths in Aba, Abia State by providing them with Sewing Machines and other tools that are being used for shoe and bag making. Ikechukwu Henry, one of the beneficiaries said “I started this shoe-making business in 2010 after learning the skill but I had difficulties starting up. Thankfully, with the help of the tools distributed, I have been able to sustain my business till date”.
In another region in Kano State, the System solved a major problem in the Kanwa community which was the lack of clean water, by building a pipe-borne water system that now supplies the whole community. The Councilor, Abdullahi Tuguru said “Before NBC drilled the tube well, we experienced difficulties in getting water to drink within the community. But when they intervened, the situation improved, and we now have safe and good enough water to drink and use for farming”. Also, Ibrahim Wambi, Chief of Kuchingoro community, FCT Abuja, mentioned that before he became the Chief of the community, there was no primary school and borehole water system but with the help of Coca-Cola, everything changed. They have been able to build and furnish a block of two classrooms and also a very resourceful borehole.
Over the last 70 years, the Coca-Cola System has been integrated into the fabric of Nigeria and has been very deliberate about investing in the country to make a positive impact in the lives of people and the communities they live in. In February 2021, Coca-Cola, through its philanthropic arm, The Coca-Cola Foundation, awarded N303m in grants to eight local NGOs in Nigeria, and so far, these NGOs have made great strides in pioneering several community-based programs with significant impact numbers already recorded.