Doris Uzoka-Anite, the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, has disclosed ongoing talks between the federal government and multinational companies, addressing challenges faced by these entities, including those that have recently exited the country due to economic pressures.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
In the past ten months, five multinational corporations, including Procter & Gamble, have scaled down or terminated their operations in Nigeria. Uzoka-Anite, speaking at the launch of the World Bank Nigeria Development Update report, emphasized the government’s proactive approach to engage with companies that have left and encourage those still operating, both foreign and local investors.
During a panel session, she stated, “For those companies that are exiting, we’ve been reaching out to them. For example, P&G is recent; we’ve reached out to them a couple of times and proposed some exit strategies, to smoothen their exit or reverse exit strategy and have them retained.”
The minister highlighted the government’s commitment to dialogue with international business communities present in Nigeria to understand their challenges and explore measures to accommodate them, aligning with the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council’s efforts to improve the ease of doing business.
P&G’s Chief Financial Officer, Andre Schuten, attributed the company’s exit to challenging macroeconomic conditions, particularly currency weakness. He noted the difficulty for a US dollar-denominated company to create value in Nigeria and announced a shift to an import-only model.
Other British multinationals, including GSK, Unilever, and PZ Cussons, have also announced operational adjustments in Nigeria, citing challenges such as foreign exchange constraints. Despite the Central Bank of Nigeria’s efforts to clear the FX backlog, concerns linger about the bank’s capacity to fully address such obligations given the current reserve levels, standing at approximately $32 billion, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.