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Monday, April 22, 2024

Obi laments worsening Nigeria’s economic climate

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 general elections, Mr Peter Obi has decried the worsening economic climate of Nigeria.

Obi, however, warned that a New Nigeria can only be possible if the country could sustain a friendly business environment that keeps both big and small as well as local and international businesses thriving in our national economy.

The business mogul, who always describes himself as a trader stated this on Saturday, in a statement reaction to worrisome audited report of the multinational firms for 2023 that have shown huge losses of profit before tax which he said resulted in a wipe-out of shareholders’ funds.

Decrying the development, Obi, a former governor of Anambra state regretted that loss was attributed to operational changes to the Nigerian Foreign exchange market, including the abolishment of the parallel structure announced by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in June 2023, describing the inconsistencies in the country’s economic management as unhealthy.

“Yesterday, we were confronted with the worrisome audited report of the multinational firm, Nestle Nigeria, which occupied much of the business media space,” Obi said adding. “This morning, again, the media is awash with the unpalatable financial report from another multi-national company, MTN Nigeria Plc, showing a similar huge loss of profit before tax of N177.8 billion, which resulted in a wipe-out of shareholders’ funds.

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“The loss was attributed to operational changes to the Nigerian Foreign exchange market, including the abolishment of the parallel structure announced by CBN in June 2023.”

He stated that the current situation are signs of worsening business environment, even as he noted that despite the losses, the businesses are now facing double jeopardy with increased costs occasioned by poor fiscal policies, and high interest rates, occasioned by recent monetary policies.

According to him, “these business losses, and in some cases, closures and exit of local and foreign businesses are obviously a result of our worsening business environment.

“Following the losses reported by these major multinationals, one can imagine what the small businesses are going through, especially now that they are facing a double wammy from increased costs occasioned by poor fiscal policies, and high interest rates, occasioned by recent monetary policies.

“As a trader, I feel and experience it daily. Most of these losses by smaller businesses may not catch the attention of major media outlets. Many of the affected businesses may have closed down, leading to additional job losses, and many more may follow suit if this harsh business environment is not reversed.”

Obi, however, warned that if the situation was not urgently reversed which he said is seriously discouraging production in the country, it will continue to hinder the movement from consumption to production.

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“A New Nigeria is only POssible if we can sustain a friendly business environment to keep big and small as well as local and international businesses thriving in our national economy.”

Ede Nwa Ede
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