The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called on government at various levels to engage multinational corporations and the business community to understand their challenges and gather input and feedback on policy decisions to collaboratively develop solutions that would forestall the exodus of businesses from Nigeria.
LCCI has also implored government to create a more flexible and transparent foreign exchange policy to address scarcity issues.
Its Director-General, Dr Chinyere c, gave the advice on Thursday in Lagos, in reaction to the recent announcement of Procter & Gamble to transition its Nigerian operations to an import-only model.
BRANDPOWER reports that the Chief Financial Officer of Procter & Gamble, Andre Schulten, had said.
This move would effectively dissolve its on-ground presence in the country.
Almona noted that over the last few months, there had been a consistent increase in exit plans or a reduction in involvement in the Nigerian market by multinationals, saying the trend was worrisome.
She stated that the country’s lingering foreign exchange scarcity, poor power supply, port congestion, multiple taxation, insecurity, and poor infrastructure, among others, had taken a toll on many businesses, including multinationals in the country.
She recommended that government should implement measures to stabilise and ensure the availability of foreign exchange for businesses, particularly those operating in dollar-denominated environments.
“Further, the chamber urges the government to engage multinational corporations and the business community to understand their challenges and gather input and feedback on policy decisions to collaboratively develop solutions that would forestall the exodus of businesses from Nigeria.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should prioritise the stability of the country’s currency and adopt the right policy mix to ensure price stability,” she said.
Procter & Gamble (P&G) announced Tuesday that it had to stop manufacturing in Nigeria. The US consumer goods powerhouse will discontinue manufacturing in Nigeria and pivot to import-only activity. “It’s also difficult to operate because of the macroeconomic environment,” it said
The move adds to the woes of multinational operations in Nigeria, where foreign companies especially manufacturers and energy firms have been exiting in droves, most citing the current foreign exchange crunch and devaluation of the naira, which means lower earnings for foreign companies in dollar terms.
In March, Unilever announced an end to the production of its homecare and skin-cleansing products in the country because those categories are “margin dilutive” and the decision needed to be taken to make its Nigerian operation profitable.