british american tobacco p.l.c. sustainability report 2011 - Sustainability at British American Tobacco Nigeria

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Sustainability Report 2011

Marketplace responsibility

The Group’s International Marketing Standards (IMS), which are stricter than the current tobacco regulation in Nigeria, have strengthened the company’s approach to responsible marketplace practice. British American Tobacco Nigeria has been encouraging the Government for some time to incorporate similar standards into local legislation and is pleased to see that this is reflected in the proposed Tobacco Control Bill, many aspects of which the company supports.

Sustainability at British American Tobacco NigeriaThis includes the provision to introduce a minimum age of 18 for tobacco sales. There are currently no restrictions on the age at which people can buy cigarettes and, while it welcomes the proposed restriction, the company also anticipates problems with its enforcement. In Nigeria, it is culturally acceptable for children to buy cigarettes on behalf of adult smokers. The market is also highly fragmented, with many small traders and street vendors. There is also no widely available or used national identification scheme that could be used to verify customers’ ages.

To explore these challenges and how they might be tackled, in 2011 British American Tobacco Nigeria held an independently facilitated stakeholder dialogue session. Participants included representatives from government, NGOs, retailers and law enforcement agencies.

The main message from the dialogue was that clarity is needed on how the minimum age law will be effectively enforced, such as through agreement on the areas of responsibility for all the stakeholders concerned, including the Government, law enforcement bodies, retailers and the industry. It was suggested that a framework could be developed to clearly define responsibilities and that, based on this, solutions and areas for cooperation could be identified. British American Tobacco Nigeria will work with other stakeholders to explore developing such a framework.

The company’s trade marketing representatives will also discuss the proposed minimum age law directly with retailers. The trade marketing team already engages with retailers in this way, encouraging them to sell tobacco only to those aged 18 or over, despite this not yet being law.

Community investment

The British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation is an independent charitable organisation established in 2002. The company provides funding that the Foundation uses to improve the quality of life of Nigeria’s citizens.

One of the Foundation’s flagship projects is its Agricultural Development Initiative. This develops programmes to help traditional subsistence farmers adopt modern agricultural techniques. For example, model farms have been established to show how cassava, maize, watermelons and rice can be cultivated. Small processing plants for cassava and palm oil have also been built. These help farmers to understand how different techniques can enhance their incomes.

The Foundation’s other projects include vocational training centres to help people acquire employable trades such as tailoring, cookery, plumbing and IT. There are currently two training centres in the Zaria and Jere communities in Kaduna State and a third has been commissioned for the Idi Ayunre community in Oyo State.

In 2011, British American Tobacco Nigeria held a stakeholder dialogue session on the subject of community investment. In particular, the company wanted to explore how the work of the Foundation could be better aligned with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Participants included representatives from development agencies, charities, NGOs and government agencies.

A major challenge raised during the dialogue was that there is currently no consistent framework for measuring the impact of community programmes. Despite this, participants agreed that there are opportunities for Nigerian companies to collaborate to help achieve common MDG and sustainability goals.

Drawing on the insights gained from the dialogue session, British American Tobacco Nigeria will strengthen the design and implementation of the Foundation’s projects to be better aligned with Nigeria’s MDG targets.

In 2011, the Foundation assessed the impacts of its projects. In 2012, it will publish the results of this assessment and adapt its Corporate Social Investment programme as appropriate.



Enforcement of youth smoking prevention laws, regulations and guidelines is everyone’s responsibility.

Stakeholder in dialogue on minimum age law


From my community’s experience since 2009, the way British American Tobacco Nigeria conducts its Corporate Social Investment interventions through genuine community participation and empowerment, self-help and reliance on the beneficiary community’s local human and natural assets largely accounts for the sustainability and high impact of these projects as shown with our cassava processing centre. This does not even happen with Government projects. It is a model for other companies to emulate.

Stakeholder in dialogue on community investment

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