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FG Provides Support to UK Companies Based in Nigeria

The Federal Government has assured UK companies operating in Nigeria of its support to ensure their prosperity despite declining foreign exchange earnings.

The government is also committed to creating an environment for them to carry out their activities without hindrance.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Chief Adeniyi Adebayo, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, gave this assurance in an interactive session with a UK sales team in Abuja on Thursday.

Adebayo, in a statement by his special media assistant, Mr. Ifedayo Sayo, noted that the government is doing everything to ensure that investors in the Nigerian economy receive the support they need to grow their businesses.

The minister, who facilitated the meeting, argued that growing businesses would mean more money for the government to build more infrastructure and also create jobs for young Nigerians.

It was then that the representatives of the companies praised the CBN for the financing of local companies and the various reforms put in place to help them in the management of their companies.

They demanded more foreign currency to continue their operations, however, saying they needed foreign currency to pay their lenders and maintain their machines.

Some of the companies attending the interactive session included: GlaxoSmithkline, Savanna Energy, AzuraPower West Africa and Guinness Plc.

Omon Elyhibro, a representative of GlaxoSmithkline, a pharmaceutical company, congratulated the Minister and the Governor of CBN for the support given to the company by the government during their 50 years of activity in the country.

Elyhibro said it was their desire to make the country an export hub for pharmaceuticals, through their partnership with local manufacturers, stressing that CBN’s support for local manufacturing companies was laudable.

Additionally, Azura Power West Africa Managing Director Edu Okeke praised CBN for supporting the business, but called for more forex support, to keep the business afloat.

He said the company needed foreign exchange not only to pay its lenders abroad, but also to maintain its factories.

Okeke, who praised the CBN for the various reforms that have helped the sector grow, said the reforms have helped unblock the sector.

Emefiele, who was represented by Deputy Governor for Economic Policy Dr Kingsley Obiora, had explained that the CBN was doing its best to help manufacturers with forex.

He added that there were only three main sources of foreign exchange inflows into the Nigerian economy, including the sale of crude oil, Nigerians’ remittances abroad and foreign investors, noting that the Falling crude oil prices had affected the inflow of foreign currency.

This situation prompted the ban on importing goods that could be produced locally to ensure judicious use of the available forex.

Emefiele, however, assured that some of the suggestions raised by the companies would be considered to help them in their day-to-day operations. (NAN
)

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