In the wake of a decade marked by economic challenges, six prominent companies in Nigeria succumbed to the harsh realities of a deteriorating business environment. Factors such as foreign exchange shortages, power deficiencies, port congestion, taxing policies, insecurity, and infrastructure decay collectively pressured businesses.
These closures underscore a broader struggle within the nation’s manufacturing sector, plagued by soaring costs, diminished productivity, and sluggish demand, forcing companies have opted out of the sector over the past decade, this include:
Unilever Nigeria Plc
Unilever Nigeria Plc embarked on a bold move this year, deciding to halt the production of beloved products like Omo and Lux within the country. This strategic shift affects their presence in Home Care and Skin Cleansing categories, impacting various well-known brands including Sunlight, Dove Beauty Bar, Pepsodent Toothpaste, and more.
After a substantial 51-year run in Nigeria, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) made the surprising announcement of its departure, opting to change its distribution model for top medicines and vaccines. GSK Consumer Nigeria Plc will no longer handle commercialization directly, as the company shifts towards a third-party distribution approach.
Sanofi-Aventi Nigeria, a prominent French pharmaceutical company, also revealed a transformative decision to close its direct operations in Nigeria. Come February 2024, the company plans to embrace a new business model, leveraging a third-party distributor to carry forward its portfolio of medicines.
Bolt Food, known for its meal delivery service, decided to cease operations nationwide on December 7, 2023, citing the need to enhance efficiency and optimize resources. The firm expressed the difficulty of this decision in a statement, outlining business reasons for the discontinuation of their food delivery service in Nigeria.
Procter & Gamble
Procter & Gamble, a consumer goods giant, disclosed plans to shift its Nigerian operations from on-ground to import-focused. Citing challenges tied to the country’s macroeconomic environment, especially being a dollar-dependent company, P&G navigates a new strategy for its business presence in Nigeria.
Equinor, a Norwegian energy corporation, marked the end of its three-decade presence in Nigeria by selling its operations, including the Agbami oil field stake, to Chappal Energies. This significant transaction includes Equinor Nigeria Energy Company’s interests, contributing to the evolving landscape of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
Mayor Biscuits Company Limited (MABISCO)
MABISCO, an Ogun State-based biscuits company, ceased operations in 2023 to refocus on core business due to unfavorable economic conditions.
The reason for its shutdown was also attributed to the desire to divest appropriately; over 300 distributors nationwide affected.
Louis Carter Industries
Established in 1989, Louis Carter Industries, a plastic products company, closed in 2017 due to production challenges.
Issues included ballooning production costs, FX crunch, policy uncertainties, and high energy expenses.
The closure impacted over 40 staff members who re-entered a competitive labor market.
Once a major bottled/sachet water company in Sango-Ota, Moak Enterprises shut down in 2021.
Meridian Waters, its popular product, faced challenges amid the FX crisis, leading to increased raw material costs.
Serving Nigeria and West Africa since 1959, Tower Aluminium, a producer of aluminum products, closed in 2020.
GSK Nigeria halted drug production at its Agbara plant in 2021, opting for contract manufacturing with Fidson Healthcare.
In August, GSK announced its exit from Nigeria after 51 years, transitioning to a third-party distribution model.
Technoflex Company Limited
A player in the industrial plastic and foam sub-sector, Technoflex shut down in 2017 due to escalating production costs.
With manufacturing companies abandoning the country, the consequences are dire. However, this newfound crisis serves as a wake-up call for policymakers to rectify the situation, fostering a revived Nigerian economy for future generations.