The Gillette Free Zone and Niven Free Zone

Nigerian herbal products company Niven Nigerian and Kenya companies spearhead the market

At the mouth of Africa, an edifice has been built to add value to the continent. It is called the Niven Onrhana Free Zone and it lies 50 kilometres southwest of Nairobi, Kenya.

As the leader of this free zone, Kenya based group of companies (often referred to as Niven for simplicity) and the leading indigenous herbal products brand, Northern Africa based company in green product segment, Niven has secured the world’s first corporate license to sell jikka salt from the Gillette subsidiary, J. & J. Plc.

Mr. Ndupanyi Anosike, Managing Director, Niven Nigeria Limited said that the Niven partnership is part of its product innovation strategy. He confirmed to Insurance Sherpa that: “Our own particular distribution system is also adding value to the market. These areas are key to the marketing of products and we are building a stronger, more efficient and more accountable chain.”

Jikka Salt which was introduced by Niven in 2013, is an alkaline-rich salt with a smooth taste and a pleasant texture that is heavily marketed for being salt-free and stress free. This is despite the fact that because of its high salt content, Jikka does contain sodium chloride (salted). By having the highest concentration of alkaline-rich salt, researchers discovered that consumption of Jikka helps consumers to achieve a consistent lowering of body pressure as well as the elimination of stomach upset.

Mr. Ndupanyi said: “With these insights, I decided to research into the use of Niven jikka salt in digestive health and in helping reduce body tension. The sodium to alkaline ratio of Niven jikka salt is 0.047:1 while at the same time 95% of the alkaline bath salts used in conventional consumers products are alkaline. This, the research showed, enhances the efficacy of the jikka salt by bathing consumers more gently and reducing the use of unnecessary chemicals to dampen body tension.”

In addition to its research, Dr. Ndupanyi said, Niven has research and development in-house which informs all its related product innovations.

The NMDC area is the heart of Africa, the cradle of humanity. It is a borderless territory, symbol of integration in Africa. It is also one of the richest soils in the world, but it is left unexploited due to political insecurity in the area.

“As the pioneer private sector company to own the NMDC site in Nigeria, Niven is committed to addressing the development needs of the area including agriculture, economic integration, social and community wellbeing through a model of market based operations. Niven free zone has the potential to trigger Africa’s industrial revolution, thereby deriving sustainable social and economic benefits. Niven has already created good quality jobs by recruiting local staff, albeit in a relatively small proportion of the total population. We want the Free Zone to become the engine room of the economy, enabling tourism, research, manufacturing, to thrive in this area.”


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