Nigeria: Cash Crunch – Nigerian Breweries Sales Drop to Lowest in 15 Years

Nigerian Breweries Plc has revealed that its business has been heavily impacted by the cash crunch in the country.

In December, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) replaced old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes with news ones, triggering a cash scarcity that’s intensified in recent weeks.

In an interview with Bloomberg, the chief executive officer of Nigerian Breweries, Mr. Hans Essaadi, said the company has faced a tough challenge as Nigerian Breweries Plc depends on cash for about 80 per cent of its retail sales.

With about 13,000 distributors and sub-distributors as well as about 800,000 outlets, Nigerian Breweries has been one of Nigeria’s foremost brands contributing to the country not just through taxes but also through social and entertainment programmes.

Speaking to the publication in Lagos, the CEO noted that the reason sales may be impacted this quarter is not due to the fact that people do not want to consume the brands but because there is no money, saying, for the average man on the street, it is a disaster.

To help ease the worries, Essaadi said, Nigerian Breweries plans to help some of its registered outlets to start using point of sale (PoS) devices to encourage electronic payments.

He also expressed optimism at the business scaling the hurdle when the cash situation returns to normal, adding that “we believe that with the demographics of this country, being the biggest economy in Africa, business will come back.

Meanwhile, the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, officially ordered commercial banks to comply with the court verdict. He also announced that the old N200, N500 and N1,000 would remain legal tender till the end of the year.

Emefiele said the decision followed a meeting with the Bankers’ Committee that held on Sunday.

The development has put an end to the confusion over the legality of the old naira notes. The action is also expected to ameliorate the suffering of Nigerians who have faced severe hardships over the scarcity of new naira notes amid the controversial ban on the old notes.


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