Nigeria’s Business Environment Remains Worrisome

Wed, Jun 7, 2017 | By publisher


That is the verdict of Austrian, German and Switzerland companies who are doing business in Nigeria as they have to struggle with issues of electricity supply, import controls, foreign exchange among others

|  By Anayo Ezugwu  |  Jun 7, 2017 @ 17:15 GMT  |

Despite recent signing of the executive order to ease means of doing business in Nigeria, Austrian, German and Switzerland, AGS, companies operating in the country have raised concerns over bottlenecks in the business environment in the country. The AGS complained about shortage of foreign exchange, import controls, inadequate electricity supply and security as some of the constrains affecting their businesses in Nigeria.

Speaking at the AGS 2017 business outlook in Lagos on Wednesday, June 7, Ingo Herbert, Consul General, consulate general of the Federal Republic of Germany, Lagos, said other factors affecting their businesses in the country included, corruption, oil price and transportation. He stated that a 2017 survey of 41 AGS enterprises operating in Nigeria confirmed that 70 percent of companies expressed deep concerns about the current business environment in the country.

According to Herbert, despite the challenges the enterprises remained cautiously optimistic about the future of Nigeria’s economy through mid-2018. “The government’s reform efforts come amidst a challenging macroeconomic background, with drops in foreign exchange and public revenues, lower oil prices and slowing headline growth. The government had pushed for a strong stimulus, with a $25 million infrastructure fund and a budget heavy on spending to boost the economy.

“Despite these difficulties, Nigeria remains a destination for savvy investors looking for long-term growth and returns on the continent. The country is richly endowed with enormous human and natural resources and we remain optimistic that the government will perceive these current challenges as a long-term opportunity to start diversifying the economy and focus on the huge untapped potential of the non-oil sector.”

He said the AGS business outlook event aimed to be a recurring annual exercise that would provide an insight to interested stakeholders and political decision makers doing business in the country. “In addition, it will also be a means of dialogue with the federal government to bring to their attention difficulties being experienced by the international private sector operating in Nigeria. AGS enterprises are committed to continue partnering with Nigeria to improve the overall business environment exemplifies by the ease of doing business ranking,” Herbert said.

AGS private sector companies have been operating in Nigeria for decades. During this time, they contributed towards the growth and development of the economy, increased employment opportunities, worked with the government in providing an enabling business environment and introduced technological advancement to spur their respective industries. Nigeria continues to maintain a positive and beneficial trade relationship with the three countries.