By Tom Okpe
Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, (LP) in the 2023 general, Peter Obi has decried exit of credible international firms from Nigeria as a bad omen and not good for the country.
Obi said in his X handle that the departure of three global firms in the health and energy sectors says a lot about the state of affairs in our country.
“A few months ago, I lamented about exit of the International Pharmaceutical giant, GlaxoSmithKline, (GSK) from Nigeria. GSK remains a top global Pharmaceutical manufacturer and has had 51 years of operations in Nigeria, the reason for their exit being that there was no longer perceived growth in Nigeria, anchored on productivity.
“Today, Procter & Gamble (P&G), the world’s largest personnel care and household products company, makers of iconic brands like Pampers, Gillette and other valuables, is again leaving Nigeria, for the same reason GSK left.
“Following this, also are FMCG and top Energy firm, Norwegian behemoth Equinor which has sold off its Nigerian business. Developments associated.
“Fifteen years ago, P&G, as they are commonly called, viewed Nigeria as a strategic country of importance and invested millions of dollars in an ultra-modern chain supply structure in Agbara which, sadly, is now up for sale,” he recalled.
The LP standard bearer noted that; “The presence of these iconic companies in any economy is not only that they signify trust and confidence, as well as believe in medium to long-term socio-economic prospects of such countries, but, massively create jobs, invest in Research and Development, as well as pieces of training which smaller players in the industry learn and adapt.
According to him, they help, to a great extent, develop local talents for both local and global jobs.
“The exit of these top global companies basically shows that our medium to long-term prospects strategy is in the negative, our investment profile is not attractive and our business environment is deteriorating continually. The declining purchasing power of Nigerians is nose-diving every day.
“In the face of absence of the rule of law, and a conducive business environment, it will be difficult to retain such iconic companies and talk more about attracting new ones.
He therefore, charged Governments at all levels in Nigeria to take immediate steps to ensure that institutions of governance are put in place and actively, engaging, to show that the situation is reversed.