The Chief Financial Officer of Procter & Gamble, Andre Schulten, has indicated that P&G plans to transition its Nigerian operations to an import-only model, effectively dissolving its on-ground presence in the country. The company cited challenges in conducting business as a dollar-denominated organization and attributed its strategic decision to the macroeconomic conditions in Nigeria. The company has a portfolio valued at $85 billion with Nigeria contributing $50 million in net sales.
Over the last few months, there has been a consistent increase in exit plans or a reduction in involvement in the Nigerian market by the multinationals, and this trend is worrisome. We have seen the likes of Unilever Nigeria, GlaxoSmithKline, and Guinness Nigeria Plc.
In Nigeria, lingering foreign exchange scarcity, poor power supply, port congestion, multiple taxation, insecurity, and poor infrastructure, among others, have taken a toll on many businesses in the country.
The Chamber recommends that the government should implement measures to stabilize and ensure the availability of foreign exchange for businesses, particularly those operating in dollar-denominated environments. The LCCI also implores the government to create a more flexible and transparent foreign exchange policy to address scarcity issues.
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 will forestall the exodus of businesses from Nigeria. The CBN should prioritize the stability of the country’s currency and adopt the right policy mix to ensure price stability.
DR CHINYERE ALMONA, FCA
LAGOS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY
7 DECEMBER 2023