• Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

ECONOMIC IMPACT FROM PENDING EXIT OF GUINNESS NIGERIA PLC FROM NIGERIA AFTER 75 YEARS

Jun 17, 2024

ECONOMIC IMPACT FROM PENDING EXIT OF GUINNESS NIGERIA PLC FROM NIGERIA AFTER 75 YEARS

By Chief Michael N. Ebie

I recently read on a WhatsApp platform, a publication by Obinna Ezugwu (June 11, 2024), “that Guinness Nigeria, PLC (Guinness), a public limited liability company has announced that it will exit the Nigerian market and sell off its controlling shares to a Singaporean conglomerate, Tolaram Group”.

My initial reaction was, “Hmmnn, this is not a good development”.  I hope that this is not a sign of things to come given the continuing deterioration in the economic condition in our beloved country, Nigeria.

I am not an economist and not completely conversant with the details of the pending exit of Guinness from Nigeria, but most economists would agree that businesses play vital roles in driving and sustaining job growth in communities. Businesses, from local retail shops to very large multinational corporations, all contribute significantly to overall employment opportunities in any community in which they operate. These businesses (large and small) create employment opportunities; that help to stimulate economic growth and contribute to the overall welfare of those communities.

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Companies need a stable and conducive environment in which to conduct business. In every emerging or developed country, the government takes steps to help the economy achieve goals – growth, full employment, price stability, etc.  Countries and communities need to attract more businesses, and not create a hostile environment that repels or thwarts business development. Businesses already have inherent risks in doing business in Nigeria.  There are no basic infrastructures necessary to attract and sustain business development – no good roads on which to transport goods and/or supplies, the supply of electricity is very anemic at best, no reliable supply of water, etc.  To compound these anomalies, the precipitous decline in the value of the Naira currency is the last straw, hence companies like Guinness are probably heading for the exit.

The basic responsibility of any government is to provide the requisite environment necessary to attract and encourage business investments and development. These in turn stimulate local economies and attract talented people.  Nigeria is already hemorrhaging from “brain-drain” – losing a lot of talented and intelligent men and women to other countries around the world. The exodus of companies will more likely create more of the brain-drain as more qualified and talented Nigerians will continue to seek greener pastures outside the country.

When will our government wake up and realize that when businesses move into a community, the community can expect population growth, increased average wages, job growth, public, private investment growth, etc.  All these factors can help a community thrive.

Our Nigerian government needs to understand that providing a conducive environment for businesses to invest in our country would lead to growth in goods and services, thereby stimulating consumer spending and subsequently drive-up demand. In turn, these would lead to an increase in economic output and the overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of our beloved country.

 

I weep for our next generation!!!!