Multinationals leaving Nigeria didn’t have liquid FX – Minister


The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, says the government is working on the economic and investment climate to attract more multinationals into Nigeria.
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Edun, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics programme, said multinational companies exiting the country did not have a liquid foreign exchange market.

He said, “One of the major drawbacks, one of the major impediments for them (exiting multinationals), was they did not have a liquid foreign exchange market.

“Now, we have a willing buyer, willing seller foreign exchange market. It is elevated, maybe not at the levels we would like it to be, but it is when you get inflation down that you can stabilize the exchange rate and even get it coming down similarly with the interest rate. That fight is on. It is an improved environment for them, for big investors as a whole.”
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He said recent executive orders signed by President Bola Tinubu have improved the investment climate for gas, which Nigeria has in abundance.

The minister said, “Companies will always come and go. Of course, our aim is to not only keep them but to have even more come to invest, and we are sure that with the environment that we put in place, they would come.”

He said tax reform proposals to make things easier for both local and foreign manufacturers operating in the country are in an Economic Stabilisation Package to be considered by the President.
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“We are in a difficult place, but the direction of travel is towards improvement. So, every single day, every single month, we are looking at an improved economic situation for Nigeria.”

As Nigeria battles its current economic crisis sparked by the government’s twin policies of petrol subsidy removal and unification of forex windows, some manufacturing companies have exited the country in the last few months, the latest being manufacturers of Huggies and Kotex brands of diapers, Kimberly-Clark.

Other multinationals who exited Nigeria in the last year are US-based Procter and Gamble (P&G), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Unilever, Sanofi-Aventis Nigeria, among others.
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Some similar reasons given by the companies include high energy costs and currency depreciation.
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