Saturday, 18 January 2020

Who Drank all the Alcohol?




I was thinking this morning.... about alcohol. No, I am not thinking of taking alcohol this morning. Shortly after leaving University many years ago, I was invited for several tests for Management Trainee positions at a number of multinational companies, including Nigeria Breweries Limited (NBL). I did the tests for NBL, passed and was invited for interview. During the interview, I was asked a strange question by one of the panelists. 'Do you drink alcohol?' he asked. 'I don't sir' was my reply.' 'Then how do you intend to promote the products of the company you want to work for?' He followed up. I tried providing a response, but deep down in me, I knew I will not get the job and I didn't. Since then I never gave NBL and alcohol a thought until last week.

'So what happened last week?' you may ask. This past Thursday, I read the news story that Nigerian Breweries Limited (NBL) recorded sales of almost N300 billion in 2019 while Guinness is expected to record sales of N275 billion totaling almost N600 Billion (about $2billion) which is about 3% of Nigeria GDP. Wow! Note that Nigeria Breweries has 26 products and only eight are non-alcoholic. So I was thinking, where did all the alcohol go? Who are those drinking N500+ billion of alcoholic beverages in one year, when the majority of Nigerians are either Christians or muslims?

I kept thinking about where all the alcohol went. Could it be that some people used it as fuel for their generators or we use am wash plates? As I was digging in, I read the report by the Forensic team investigating the NDDC that almost half a trillion naira worth of emergency contracts were given out in 2019 without due process. I shuddered. Even worse is the confirmation that there was little or no evidence of what the money was used for. Wondering how a few will loot the people's commonwealth in the midst of abject poverty, I couldn't understand why. Then it occurred to me, 'it must have been the alcohol.' It is only alcohol that can reduce a man to this level of insensitivity. No wonder NBL made N300 billion sales in one year.

I remembered the violent elections of 2019, the kidnappings, ritual killings, armed robbery and wondered 'How have we become so savage as a people?' Then the answer was whispered to me 'it must be the alcohol.' N600 billion sales in one year by two companies with alcoholic beverages as their major products? Wow! Are you saying nothing spoil? Then think about the unaccounted sales of other assorted foreign and local alcoholic drinks like paraga, skian, ogogoro, ogidiga, regal, orimalu, jedi, monkeytail, dongoyaro, alomo, agbara, babyoku, laliga, kerewa, striker, bajinotu, shine, kick and start etc. If you add it all up, then you should worry whether everyone around you was not under the influence in 2019. 

Well, I don't know how much you contributed to NBL N300 billion sales in 2019, just make sure you keep a clear head this year to achieve your dreams because Proverbs 20:1 says 'Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.'

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

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