The Federal Government is discounting Nigeria’s GDP growth forecast by half percentage point, sighting activities of terrorists in the Northern part of the country and recent outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) as threats to economic growth.
This was disclosed weekend by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the coordinating minister for the economy and minister of finance, after her meeting in Lagos with the management team of Unilever Nigeria plc led by its global CEO, Paul Polman.
“Nigeria is safe for business people to come in. Polman’s visit is a very good sign for the country. It further signals that Nigerian economy remains resilient despite recent threats. The Q2 GDP growth figure of 6.5% shows that the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan is working. This administration is committed to ensuring that the GDP figures translate to job creation,” Okonjo-Iweala said.
“Unilever is among the companies that believe Nigeria’s recent 6.5% growth makes it among one of the fastest growing economies in the world.”
The company further proves its belief on attractiveness of Nigeria’s economy with a plan to invest 150 million Euro (about $200 million) across its Nigeria’s production lines.
Excited by Unilever’s decision to invest in Nigeria, the coordinating minister said, “This will help create jobs.”
“By next month (October), Unilever wants to start producing locally some of its products and the company will also source for the raw materials locally. As a listed company, Unilever believes that a functioning financial market remains a major factor that assists business sustainability.
“My visit is to encourage other companies to take a closer look at the enormous opportunities here in Nigeria,” Polman said.
“We have a very healthy business here in Nigeria. In the last three years, we have invested 50% of our turnover in the country. Our growth projections will be accelerated. The investment climate is still favourable with the level of GDP growth,” he said.
In addition, the global CEO of Unilever promised to partner with the Lagos State government in its quest to ensure that students will continue to embrace hygiene as school resumption beckons.