The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, yesterday called on multinationals and other manufacturing companies operating in the country to work towards the production of their goods in Nigeria.
Emefiele, who said this in Lagos, during the signing of an agreement between Procter & Gamble (P&G), a consumer goods manufacturer and Colori Cosmetics, for the local production of Oral B products in Nigeria, reiterated the CBN’s support towards domestic manufacturing.
The parties to the agreement explained that the partnership represents a new investment of $35 million with additional direct jobs of over 200 expected to be created. The deal is expected to further promote localisation, technology advancement in Nigeria, support the government’s economic diversification drive as well as create an export hub of manufactured goods in Nigeria.
In his remarks, Emefiele urged other multinationals to follow suit and collaborate with partners to strengthen industrialisation in Nigeria.
He revealed that about two years ago, Unilever established its margarine plant in Ogun, also with the support of the central bank.
He added: “I encourage other multinational firms to consider the opportunities that Nigeria offers and begin to set up their manufacturing lines in Nigeria. I also encourage indigenous corporations by saying rather than import goods that can be produced in Nigeria, they should begin to produce those goods here in Nigeria.
“We believe this will help to enable the build out of a more resilient economy that creates jobs and supports skills transfers for our growing and youthful population.”
The CBN Governor pointed out that the manufacturing industry had been a key focus of the efforts by the monetary and fiscal authorities towards driving recovery of the Nigerian economy, following the downturn in the first half of last year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He disclosed that the central bank would set up a N1 trillion facility in April, geared towards support growth and expansion of manufacturing firms in Nigeria.
So far, close to N300 billion has been disbursed to 76 manufacturing firms, which would boost local manufacturing across critical sectors over the next few years, Emefiele said.
“Our efforts have aided the recovery of the manufacturing sector as reflected in the Purchasing Managers Index which shows that the index on manufacturing activities rose from a low of 41 points in May 2020 to 49.6 points in December 2020.
“While growth remains fragile, driving further growth of the economy would require that we continue to support more investments that will enable the growth of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria,” he added.
He stressed that given the country’s market size and population, Nigeria offered significant advantages for multinational manufacturing firms that choose to invest in domesticating their productions lines in Nigeria.
According to the CBN Governor, not only do they have access to our large market, Nigeria can serve as a base for them to export goods to other markets in Africa.
“Our efforts at putting in policy measures to encourage improved production of goods that can be produced in Nigeria is driven out of the need to create jobs and wealth for our growing population.
“The impact of a manufacturing plant also goes beyond its immediate environment, as it also enables the growth of SMEs that work to meet the needs of the manufacturing plants and the staff.
“This is in addition to the skills transfers gains that could be made when our people are able acquire knowledge on new technological skills.
“This path of supporting domestication of local production in Nigeria is imperative for us to enable growth that is inclusive and sustainable. We can’t afford to continue to rely on a model that encourages imports of goods and exports of jobs away from Nigeria, as the ramifications will be huge on our economy,” he said.
Earlier speaking on the partnership, P&G’s Managing Director for Nigeria, Mr. Adil Farhat said P&G would continue to partner with the Nigerian government, “as we increase our economic and social footprint, in support of the diversification and localisation objectives of Nigeria.”
He added: “P&G is excited to partner with Colori on this project and is committed to investing in Nigeria and Nigerian talents now and for the long haul. On behalf of the entire staff of P&G, I would like to say a big thank you to the Governor for hosting us today as we seal this agreement.”
Also, the Managing Director of Colori Cosmetics Nigeria, David Feng, said his organisation was delighted about the partnership.
“The cooperation with Procter and Gamble (P&G) particularly is a huge honour. We see it as a priceless opportunity to grow with Nigeria as we aim to be one of the top-class intelligent plants in Nigeria and in the whole of the African market at large. We aim to work with hundreds of local businesses to provide a healthier lifestyle to the people,” he said.