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LCCI Raises Alarm As Companies Exit, Urges Govt.’s Intervention To Save Jobs

Daud Olatunji

The Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Chinyere Almona,has  voiced deep concern over the escalating departure of companies from the Nigerian market. 

Almona said this at  a press conference held on Thursday, emphasizing that this trend is exacerbating unemployment and could potentially deter new investments.

She lamented that over recent months, multinational corporations such as Unilever Nigeria, GlaxoSmithKline, Guinness Nigeria Plc, and now Procter & Gamble (P&G) have announced their exit from the Nigerian market. 

Almona underscored the detrimental impact of such exits on the economy, especially at a time when efforts are underway to combat unemployment and stabilize economic conditions.

The Director-General highlighted various challenges faced by businesses in Nigeria, including foreign exchange scarcity, inadequate power supply, port congestion, multiple taxation, insecurity, and poor infrastructure.

 These issues collectively pose a significant threat to the viability of businesses operating in the country.

Almona urged the government to take immediate measures to stabilize and ensure the availability of foreign exchange, particularly for businesses operating in dollar-denominated environments. Additionally, she implored the government to adopt a more flexible and transparent foreign exchange policy to address scarcity issues effectively.

P&G’s Chief Financial Officer, Andre Schulten, recently announced the company’s decision to transition its Nigerian operations to an import-only model, effectively terminating its physical presence in the country. 

The company cited challenges associated with operating as a dollar-denominated organization and attributed its strategic decision to the prevailing macroeconomic conditions in Nigeria. P&G, with a portfolio valued at $85 billion, had Nigeria contributing $50 million in net sales.

Almona reiterated the importance of government engagement with multinational corporations and the broader business community. 

She emphasized the need to comprehend their challenges and seek input and feedback on policy decisions. Almona called for collaborative efforts to develop solutions aimed at preventing further business exits from Nigeria.

Furthermore, she urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to prioritize currency stability and adopt the right policy mix to ensure overall price stability in the country. 

 

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