THE former presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, has lamented the diminishing capacity of Nigeria to attract strategic international investors.
In a series of tweets on his official X handle on Thursday, Obi specifically pointed to the exit of two top global pharmaceutical companies, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Procter & Gamble (P&G), to illustrate a lack of growth in the economy.
The former governor of Anambra State, said that Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest personnel care and household products company, makers of iconic brands like Pampers, Gillette, “is again leaving Nigeria, for the same reason GSK left.”
Stated Obi, “a few months ago, I lamented the exit of one of the top global Pharmaceutical giants, 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 was that there was no longer a 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, etc, is again leaving Nigeria, for the same reason GSK left.
“Following this also are French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis, and top Energy firm, Norwegian behemoth Equinor which has sold off its Nigerian business development associates.
“The presence of these iconic companies in any economy is not only that they signify trust and confidence, as well as belief in the medium to long-term socio-economic prospects of such countries, but they massively create jobs, invest in Research and Development, as well as pieces of training which smaller players in the industry learn from and adapt.
“They help, to a great extent to develop local talents for both local and global jobs. The exit of these top global companies 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 purchasing power of most Nigerians is nose-diving every day. In the face of the 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.”
Obi noted that “governments at all levels in Nigeria must therefore take immediate steps to ensure that institutions of governance are put in place and actively engaging to show that the situation is reversed.
“National greatness and development cannot be pursued in an atmosphere that is scaring away strategic international investors.”