THE Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr Godwin Emefiele, has advised indigenous and multinational firms to consider the opportunities that Nigeria offers and begin to set up their manufacturing lines in Nigeria.
He made this submission at the production contract signing ceremony between Procter & Gamble (P&G), an American multinational consumer goods corporation and Colori Cosmetics Limited who are investing $35 million into local production of Oral Care toothpaste, Oral B.
Emefiele said Nigeria should be the first port of destination for anybody that seeks investment in Africa, adding that “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 42.4 points in May 2020 to 48.7 points in February 2021.”
The CBN Governor further said that given the market size and our population in Nigeria, the country offers significant advantages for multinational manufacturing firms that choose to invest in domesticating their production lines in Nigeria.
“Not only do they have access to our large market, but Nigeria can also serve as a base for them to export goods to other markets in Africa,” he stated.
The manufacturing industry has 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 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This marks the second foreign direct investment into the country in five years after Unilever established a €10 million factory for the production of Blue Band Margarine in December 2017, and this latest investment targets creation of an additional 200 to the existing workforce of P&G.
The CBN had in April 2020 set up a N1 trillion facility for the growth and expansion of manufacturing firms in Nigeria.
So far close, N300 billion has been disbursed to 76 manufacturing firms, which is expected to boost local manufacturing across critical sectors over the next few years.
The signing which took place at the office of the CBN Governor, given his continued engagement with P&G on its localization journey, will further promote localization & technology advancement in Nigeria through strategic Private-Public collaboration.
It also reiterates P&G’s commitment to providing quality products that improve everyday life whilst having a positive impact on the economy.
In his remark, Emefiele said ‘It is gratifying to have been part of this localization journey with P&G. They have also indicated to me that this is the first of many such projects and we are ready to support them achieve these localization objectives. CBN encourages other multinationals to follow suit and collaborate with partners to strengthen industrialization in Nigeria.”
Speaking on the partnership, P&G Managing Director for Nigeria, Mr. Adil Farhat revealed that as a company focused on being a ‘force for good and a force for growth’, P&G will continue to partner with the Nigerian government as it increases economic and social footprint, in support of the diversification and localization objectives of Nigeria.
In his words: “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 speaking at the event, the Managing Director of Colori Cosmetics Nigeria, David Feng shared that Colori Cosmetics (Longrich) is delighted with the opportunity to sign the contract with the Nigeria-Lekki FTA in 2017 to build its first Artificial intelligence plant in Nigeria under the China One Belt and Road Initiative.
“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.