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Five Multinationals Exit Nigeria In 10 Months

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An analysis of separate notices filed by five multinational firms has shown that the five multinationals have winded down operations in Nigeria in the last 10 months.
On Wednesday, Consumer goods giant, Procter & Gambles, disclosed that it would dissolve on-ground operations in the country.
Chief Financial Officer of the group, Andre Schulten, stated this during his presentation at the Morgan Stanley Global Consumer and Retail Conference.
The company said it was difficult to do business in Nigeria as a dollar-denominated organisation and the macro-economic reality in Nigeria is responsible for its latest strategic decision.
Schulten said, “The other reality that arises in some of these markets is that it gets increasingly difficult to operate and create U.S dollar value.
“So, when you think about places like Nigeria and Argentina, it is difficult for us to operate because of the macro-economic environment.
“So, with that in mind, we are announcing a restructuring programme with the intent to adjust the operating model and adjust the portfolio to ensure that we maintain the portfolio discipline that has brought us to this point.
“The restructuring programme will largely focus on Nigeria and Argentina. We’ve announced that we will turn Nigeria into an import-only market, effectively dissolving our footprint on the ground in Nigeria and reverting to an import-only model”.
The company joins a growing list of multinationals set to exit Nigeria in 2023, following the footsteps of Unilever, which is the first Multinational to announce that it would fold up operations in Nigeria in 2023.
In March, the company had said changes in its business meant it had to exit its home care and skin cleansing categories from Nigeria.
The announcement meant that famous brands such as Omo, Sunlight and Lux, which many Nigerians had become accustomed to, would no longer be on retail shelves.
The company’s decision to end production in Nigeria is connected to increased financial difficulties occasioned by the continued devaluation of the naira, among others.
President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Francis Meshioye, told The Tide’s source that some international manufacturing firms had already exited Nigeria as a result of the power crisis, coupled with the unpredictability of the country’s foreign exchange rate before it was recently unified.
He said the N144bn spent on alternative energy sources by manufacturers in 2022 impacted adversely on the operations of his members.
In July, barely a month after Meshioye’s warning, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc, the country’s second-biggest drug producer, announced it was halting manufacturing operations in Nigeria.
According to a statement published on the Nigeria Exchange, GSK Plc (Headquartered in the UK), which owns a majority stake in the Nigerian unit, said it will appoint third-party distributors to sell its prescription medicines and vaccines in the country.
GSK’s consumer-health arm, Haleon Plc, also informed GSK Nigeria of its “intent to terminate its distribution agreement in the coming months” and appoint a third-party distributor.
GSK also said it planned “an accelerated cash distribution and return of capital” to minority shareholders.
No reason was given for the company’s exit, though the company had in the past raised concerns about the scarcity of forex which made it difficult to maintain supplies of its pharmaceutical and vaccine products in Nigeria.
Last month, Sanofi, a French pharmaceutical multinational, announced its exit from Nigeria.
The company said it had appointed a third-party distributor to handle its commercial portfolio of medicines from February 2024.
While the company’s Country Manager, Folake Odediran, had described the decision as a strategic move driven by the company’s commitment to continually improve access to medicines, the company’s financials indicated that operating in Nigeria had been a tall order.
Shortly after Sanofi’s announcement, Bolt Food announced that it had made the difficult decision to discontinue its food delivery operations in Nigeria due to business reasons.
According to a statement by the company, the decision was borne out of the need to “streamline its resources and maximise overall efficiency”.

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FG To Revive 46 Abandoned Housing Projects Across Nig

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The Federal Government, through the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria(FMBN), has initiated a rehabilitation process to revive about 46 abandoned housing projects nationwide.
The bank said this would be achieved through a partnership with Shelter Afrique Development Bank, a Pan-African finance institution that exclusively supports the development of the housing and real estate sector in Africa.
The FMBN Managing Director, Shehu Usman Osidi, stated this while hosting the management of Shelter Afrique Development Bank recently in Abuja, noting that the bank had made reviving the housing estates a priority.
According to him, the intensified collaboration will help provide construction and mortgage financing to developers in Nigeria.
He said, “Nigeria has over 46 abandoned projects in the 36 states and the FMBN is determined to revive them.
“Our findings show that banks have entered into a housing financing agreement with states where the state governments are expected to provide infrastructure for these estates, but unfortunately many states reneged and the projects were abandoned.
“We have explored the product offerings of Shelter Afrique Development Bank and found out that they offer infrastructure financing, so we want to bring them on board to offer this financing so we can finish up the projects and hand them over to many Nigerians who need shelter.”
Osidi further noted that Nigeria, the second largest shareholder in the bank with about 15 per cent holding, will explore areas of funding to achieve its target of delivering 100,000 housing units to Nigerians this year.
He mentioned that the FMBN is currently reviewing previously abandoned memoranda of understanding that were signed with the organisation. This review is aimed at exploring the benefits that Nigerians could gain from this renewed partnership.
Also speaking, the CEO of Shelter Afrique, Thierno-Habib Hann, said the organisation was in Nigeria to promote its development financing agenda and identify Nigeria as a destination for investments with over $25bn in Diaspora remittances each year.
He said, “We are ready to collaborate with FMBN and other institutions across Nigeria to address the housing gap. The challenges are there and the opportunities are also there. As a development finance institution, we are very well positioned to collaborate with the government of Nigeria and in this trip, we met all the leadership including the vice president of the Federal  Republic of Nigeria who is fully committed to driving the growth of the sector and invest more in the sector knowing that housing creates jobs.”
Meanwhile, the bank has said it collected about N100billion in remittances through the National Housing Fund (NHF) in 2023.
The NHF scheme was established by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria to facilitate the continuous flow of low-cost funds for long-term investment in housing, through 2.5 per cent monthly deductions from employees earning a basic salary.

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Master Bakers Strike; Factional Group Pulls Out

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A factional group, the Supreme Bakers and Confectioners Association of Nigeria(SBCAN), has opted out from the announced strike of the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCON).
AMBCON had on February 14th announced it’s proposed strike which  commenced yesterday February 27th due to Federal Government’s failure to honour agreement reached with the association in 2020.
The association also called for temporary suspension of all forms of taxation on the bakery industry at the Federal, State and Local Government levels.
However, in a statement on Monday, some bakers under the umbrella of Supreme Bakers and Confectioners Association of Nigeria said embarking on strike at a time Nigerians are going through a lot is uncalled for and could exacerbate the situation.
Acting National President of the association, Edmund Egbuji, in a statement on Monday, urged all members of the group not to participate in the strike.
”The Board of Trustee (BOT) chairman and the entire members of the board in conjunction with the national exco of Supreme Bakers and Confectioners Association of Nigeria wish to bring to the notice of the general public that Supreme Bakers Association will not embark on a nationwide withdrawal of services (strike) proposed by some bakers association in the country.
“Supreme bakers deem it as unpatriotic at this time of food insecurity and scarcity in the country. Going on strike will never be an option rather the government through its relevant ministries should call for a roundtable discussion to cushion the effects of food scarcity plight.
“All members of the supreme bakers are hereby directed to go about the business of feeding the nation as any contrary action will add to the pains of the overstretched citizens”, the statement posited.

Corlins Walter

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Price Hike: BCPG  Fears Increased Building Collapse 

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The Building Collapse Prevention Guild(BCPG) has expressed concern that the continuous rise in  prices  in building materials may lead to an increase in the use of substandard goods, exacerbating building collapse in the country.
National President of BCPG, Sulaiman Yusuf, stated this during the BCPG sensitisation walks, with the theme “Walking towards Zero Building Collapses,” held in Lagos .
He said, “The expected rise in the cost of building materials such as cement, fittings, and even wages for artisans and professionals in the built environment would eventually have a ripple effect that would see a further proliferation of substandard goods as more builders seek to cut cost by all means and an increase in the patronage of quacks and untrained artisans.
“The effects of these emerging menaces may not be felt immediately, but in three to four years, we may begin to see even more building collapses.
“This sensitisation walk is, therefore, an opportunity to bring this emerging challenge to our attention and is also a call to action.
“The Ministry of Physical Planning and the Office of Urban Development have strong roles to play. They must double their efforts in ensuring that building standards are kept by all builders and must begin to fund research or operationalise the results of previous research on local building materials.”
According to Yusuf, it has become necessary to look inward to reduce the effects of a depreciating naira.
“The Standard Organisation of Nigeria also must take extra care in ensuring that only quality building materials are in the market. We must have a hard line on this,” he advised.
Yusuf emphasised that the plummeting value of the naira, reaching nearly N1,500 against the dollar within six-month would result in a continuous escalation of building material prices.
He stated, “The government must train even more artisans and professionals in the built environment. It is my strong opinion that each local government area must have at least one training school where youths can get trained and become skilled in different areas of the built industry.
“Also, special scholarships should be provided for students offering courses in the built environment to encourage more of them to participate effectively. The youth must be encouraged to know that they do not need to ‘japa’ or turn to a life of crime to become successful in life.
“Regulatory fees should also be reviewed, as the government is advised to see the Ministry of Physical Planning and the Office of Urban Development as agencies for regulation and not revenue generation.”

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