Between September 2015 to October 2016, about 25 per cent foreign investors pulled out of Nigeria, costing it more than $450.34 billion of asset-loss, so says the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC).
Disclosing this on Thursday, the National President, NACC, Chief Olabintan Famutimi, said there were also more closure of operating centres in Nigeria by foreign and indigenous business owners within the period, more than had ever been witnessed in the past.
It listed some of the firms that closed their operations or left the country during the period to include: the United Airlines, Iberia Airlines, Truworths International Limited, Mitsui O.S.K Line, Messina Line, Nippon Yusen Kasha, Taiwan’s Evergreen Line, Aberdeen Asset Management Plc and Ashmore Group Plc.
The resultant effect of all of this aided the current scarcity of dollar in the country.
On the direct effect of naira value-loss to major currencies, Famutimi said more than N65 billion worth of direct investment were affected because most firms became reluctant to put down their money into an economy without a stable foreign exchange system.
According to him, this equally led to the intensity that Nigeria’s recession had taken, when computed with other countries that had passed through similar economic downturn before.
Also running against the economy is high interest rates, unfavourable financial policies, high cost of doing business, poor operating environment and infrastructural challenges, among others, NACC stated.
The worst hit, it said, is the labour sector which has over 800,000 formerly employed going back to the labour market facing companies that have lost more than 40 per cent production capacity in the past one year.
According to the chamber president, “The economic outlook for 2017 does not look encouraging, though we are confident that growth will occur within the non-oil sector, if all projections are met.
“The USA remains Nigeria’s greatest and biggest trade partner with about $1.3billion of exports and $2.7bn in imports from January to August 2016.”
The chamber’s remarks are not different from the opinion held by other organised groups and experts, who hold that until the present administration empanels an economic crack team, there is no early end to the recession that has stunted the growth of the economy.
By Emma Eke….
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