BAT eyes Sh75b export earnings from ‘Lyft’
DIVERSIFY: British American Tobacco (BAT) Kenya has targeted Sh75 billion in export earnings from the Lyft nicotine pouches it will produce for the African market at its new factory on Likoni Road in Nairobi.
Philemon Kipkemoi, Executive Finance Director for East African Markets said the new venture is also expected to generate Sh650 million in import duties for the government.
The British cigarette manufacturer has invested Sh2.5 billion in a new facility in Nairobi’s industrial area and has so far spent 60 per cent or Sh1.5 billion in a process that started last year.
While making the announcement during a virtual media function yesterday, Kipkemoi said when complete, the facility will positively impact the company’s 50,000 business partners through increased trade, in addition to employing 80 specialised skill personnel.
“This shows our commitment to the strategy of investing in a better tomorrow and health of our consumers,” he said.
Production of the nicotine pouches are expected to drive a diversification process that will ultimately impact on the over 4,000 contracted local farmers who supply tobacco for its existing cigarette business.
William Elliot, the company’s head of legal and external affairs said in the near-term, the company will continue to use revenue generated from the tobacco portfolio to deliver the new investment.
“When the time comes, we will transition them (tobacco) farmers to other crops,” he added.