P&G: More firms may leave Nigeria – MAN

THE director-general of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Segun Ajayi-Kadir, has expressed concerns over the exit of Procter & Gamble from Nigeria, saying more manufacturers could follow suit.

He said until the Federal Government takes decisive measures to address challenges facing manufacturers in the country, more firms would exit the nation’s shores.

Nigeria has been battling currency problems, with many multinationals struggling to repatriate their foreign currency exchange due to dollar scarcity.

The MAN director-general further said the exit of P&G was not totally unexpected, adding that more could happen because businesses operate in a difficult environment in Nigeria.

“Manufacturing in any economy is a strategic choice. The government has to make up its mind whether it wants its country to be an industrialised one. Once that decision is taken, you have to do all that is needed to remove the binding constraints that limit the performance of that sector. Nigeria has not done so, and that is why you can see there are closures,” Ajayi-Kadir said in a monitored programme on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Monday, December 11.

“I think it is news because it is Procter and Gamble, it is news because it is GlaxoSmithKline, it is news because they have been in the country for a very long time, but there are several others that have died quietly and for reasons that are clearly avoidable.”

He said that the exit of multinationals from the country should serve as a lesson to the government, adding that it provided the opportunity to promote local manufacturers more than foreign investors.

“I think there is a strong lesson to be learnt there, which is the fact that the big ones that are exiting are those multinationals, and I think this will send a clear signal to the government that regrettable as it is, it should guide future actions. We need to be strategic in what we promote.



    “So, what this means is that if you have a challenged local manufacturer, he is not likely to go anywhere. That is why we are saying that foreign direct investment is excellent. It has led to phenomenal improvement in the performance of the manufacturing sector for so many economies, but it should come secondary to empowering the local investor, the existing manufacturers because that is what is enduring.

    He suggested that the government needed to take clear and transparent policy directions on foreign exchange to forestall the probable exit of remaining firms.

    “So, it is regrettable, it is not totally unexpected, and I think except we take clear redefined measures, many more will happen,” he said.

    P&G recently announced its decision to shut down production lines in Nigeria and commence the exportation of its products to the country a few months after another manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, left the nation.

    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

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