48 US firms in Nigeria earn N1trn in one year
by ODINAKA ANUDU
December 18, 2017 | 1:04 am| | | Start Conversation
Forty-eight United States companies in Nigeria earned N1 trillion in 2016, according to a survey done by the American Business Council (ABC) in Nigeria, in collaboration with Accenture, General Electric and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
The firms, ranging from GE, PwC to Accenture, spent over N340 million within the year on training, contributing more than N34.4 billion to the tax revenue of Africa’s most populous country.
About 67 percent of these companies identified Nigeria as a regional hub for their operations in West Africa.
The firms identified top five issues impacting their business in Nigeria as foreign currency access and policy, crime, security, specific industry regulations, and general policy consistency/implementation/ uncertainty.
These companies have done some corporate social responsibility, including free Internet connectivity to Nigeria’s premier incubation hub, scholarships to secondary school students, and provision of volunteer staff time to teach technical skills to students in trade schools, among others.
“It is a great time for American companies to be in Nigeria. In fact there is a clear optimism now. This survey reflects the contributions of 48 US companies operating in Nigeria and the responses reinforce the role of US companies in the economic health of Nigeria, job creation, investment in training and development, tax contribution, corporate social responsibility and others,” said Darrel McGraw, partner, PwC, at the launch of the report.
Commercial counsellor at the US embassy Brent Omdahl said his role is to help American firms to find success in the Nigerian market.
“We recently sat down with the department of commerce, our secretary with the minister of trade and investment to develop the concept of a US-Nigeria Commercial and Investment dialogue. The idea was really to tap in and to influence the power of the private sector in America and Nigeria. This is a private- government platform that is meant to really attract more US investment into three sectors in Nigeria, which are infrastructure, agriculture value chain and digital economy,” Omdahl said.
He urged Nigeria to tap into African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) to reap the gains of the US market.
“AGOA is meant primarily to be a stimulant to investment in emerging markets to tap into our consumers in the US. Nigeria in comparison to other African countries have not taken advantage of that access to the US markets with the exception of oil,” he stated.
Margaret Olele, executive secretary/ CEO, American Business Council, said the council has moved beyond talking about challenges to supporting government in terms of funding.
“Our President of the council, Lazarus Angbazo, is the co- chair of one of the committees set up by the vice-president on the ease of doing business and you see members of ABC working deliberately and with all the passion they have to ensure that the environment gets right. When the environment gets right, our businesses are OK and the government will be great,” Olele said.
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