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GSK’s exit from Nigeria painful, avoidable – Obi

GSK gets SEC’s approval for Scheme of Arrangement to delist from NGX

Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the February 25, 2023 presidential election, on Saturday described as saddening, painful and avoidable, the exit of the Pharmaceutical giant, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), from Nigeria after 51 years of operations.

Obi who said he is saddened by GSK’s exit from Nigeria, decries job loss as a result.

The Labour Party leader, in a series of tweets, Saturday morning said GlaxoSmithKline leaving portends a gloomy future for the country’s investment climate, jobs sustainability and youth employment.

“Today, I was saddened to hear that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), is exiting Nigeria after 51 years of operations,” he said.

This is coming against the background of recent reports that the Pharmaceutical giants investment income jumped to N310.3 million in the full year of 2022, a massive 231.7 percent from N93.54 million in the corresponding period of 2021.

But despite the increase in investment income, profit after tax for the period grew slightly by 5 percent to N692.05 million from N658.81 million in the period reviewed.

Read also: GSK to exit Nigeria after 51 years of operations

In 2021, the company’s property, plant, and equipment dipped 16 percent to N454 million in December 2022 from N540.34 million

Inventories dropped 40 percent to N3.63 billion from N6.04 billion in the period reviewed.

Trade and other receivables dropped 26.7 percent to N3.79 billion in December 2022 from N5.17 billion in December 2021.

Cash and bank balances stood at N19.97 billion in December 2022, up 56.7 percent from N12.74 billion in December 2021.

The firm’s assets classified as assets held for sale dropped 5 percent to N680.87 million from N715.45 million in the comparable periods.

Total equity grew by 1 percent to N9.45 billion in December 2022 from N9.3 billion in December 2021.

Trade and other payables grew 15 percent to N19.25 billion from N16.73 billion in the period reviewed.

Obi noted that their reason for leaving Nigeria is even more disheartening, that they are no longer perceiving any future growth of the country, which will be anchored on productivity.

The former Anambra state governor, noted painfully that we’re at the point in our nation’s journey where multinationals are leaving the country and the local ones are closing down all consequences of poor management of our economy, as a result, millions are losing their jobs and our poverty index is worsening despite our already being the world poverty capital.

“These multinationals leaving our country, not only create jobs but create immeasurable training that contributes immensely to our human capital development.

“GSK which has a manufacturing facility set up in Agbara, on over 25 hectares of land in Agbara, had directly employed over 400 highly technical workers like pharmacists, microbiologists, biochemists, chemists, dentists, doctors etc, and also employed over 1000 other staff. It indirectly provided jobs and business opportunities for thousands of Nigerians across the nation. They are now leaving all these behind, and pushing more people back into unemployment”.

The LP standard bearer recalled his consistent position that “in turning our nation around, we must move the economy from consumption to production, part of which included encouraging and supporting local and foreign investments, like GSK, in the country.

Obi finally stressed the importance of creating an environment that creates and sustains multinationals to invest in our country is key to our dream of greatness. In the new Nigeria that we seek to create, the emphasis on production will encourage investors to stay and expand on our shores.