Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and other stakeholders have commended Nigeria Distilleries Limited (NDL) for sustaining its operations profitably in the last six decades.

Speaking on the resilience of the company and its leadership, Obasanjo said, “Not many family businesses succeed. We have seen many fail and we can attribute their failure to a number of factors. So I want to take this opportunity to congratulate this organisation for succeeding. I want to commend everyone who has worked for this organisation in the past and all who work with the company now. This is a business that is in the fourth generation and I pray that it will continue forever.”

Obasanjo reminisced on the ethos of Chief Ayo Rosiji, and expressed his joy at the continuity of his legacy, saying, “Chief Rosiji was a colossus. I would go to his house in those days for advice and it was always very useful. A true Nigerian, patriotic and entrepreneurial, he exuded a love for the country that was almost unmatched. A love that led him to create opportunities for many, the youths especially through his ideas, something we particularly crave today”.

The Group Chairman, and son of founder, Olajide Rosiji, expressed gratitude to the leadership of the company, present and past, employees and external stakeholders who had contributed significantly to the growth of the organization, and reiterated the organization’s commitment to its host community, host state and the country at large.

“Since we commenced operations in Nigeria 60 years ago, Nigeria Distilleries Limited has grown and shown resilience in business. We remain committed to growing with Ogun State and its people, and with Nigeria, its youth and its economy, and in our resolve to build brilliant African brands and global brands that will continue to make you proud of us,” he said.

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In his goodwill message, the Olota of Ota, Oba (Prof.) Adeyemi Obalanlege, said: “Ota is an industrial hub not just in Ogun state, but entire Nigeria. Nigeria Distilleries Limited is one of the largest employers of labor in Ota and as a result, has contributed to reducing the crime rate in our community. The company is also one of the highest contributors in its community impact activities and has put Ota on the world map because of its investment in Ota. The Chairman of NDL, whom I call ‘Baba Ota’, still remains the number one investor in the community,” he said.

The Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo commended the organization for its resilience over the years having stood the test of time after six decades.

He said, “I congratulate the owners, the Delanos and the Rosijis for running a company for 60 years. It is not easy at all. In fact, many have tried but were not successful. NDL has successfully done what many considered impossible for sixty years.

Speaking on the importance of NDL’s products in tradition and his particular love for the traditional prayer drink, Seaman’s Schnapps, Oba Gbadebo said, “I use your product in the palace every day because when I pray, I pray with Seaman’s Schnapps and I assure you those prayers have always been answered by God. So keep producing what we use in praying for our people.”

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In his keynote speech, Group Executive Director, Adekunle Rosiji recanted the daring vision of his late grandfather and the founding tenacious team that birthed the success NDL is today.

Reiterating the company’s commitment to quality and continuous innovation that will support this vision over the next 60 years, he said, “To this day, NDL has remained true to its roots; our quality remains world-class. Our brands retain their original, unique character, upholding our “quality-centered” approach to craftsmanship, which has made us the industry leader we are today.

“We have seen the non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverage industry grow from being worth tens of thousands in the sixties to the billion naira industry it has blossomed into today. We have truly grown with Nigeria, contributing to job creation for hundreds of thousands and national economic development. We are not stopping in our pursuit to become the global game-changer pouring the African spirit into the world. Our curiosity and knack for innovation will constantly push us to expand our limits as we reach beyond the borders of Nigeria.”