Nigeria’s toxic business environment has forced multinational companies out, and the removal of fuel subsidies has made business operations even more challenging.

Across the industry spectrum, including fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), energy, and pharmaceuticals, multinationals are abandoning Nigeria due to inability to repatriate funds and the unpredictability of the local currency, the naira compared to foreign currencies.

The latest case involves Procter & Gamble, which announced it would discontinue operations in the country during Morgan Stanley’s Global Consumer and Retail Conference.
According to the company, its recent strategic decision stemmed from the macroeconomic realities in Nigeria and it was challenging for an organization denominated in dollars to do business in the country. has compiled a list of multinational companies that left Nigeria in 2023.

Unilever Plc, a British multinational fast-moving consumer goods company, plans to discontinue manufacturing popular products like Omo and Lux in Nigeria, affecting two categories, Home Care and Skin Cleansing. Unilever has announced a new model to reduce exposure to devaluation and currency liquidity, impacting brands such as Sunlight, Dove Beauty Bar, Lux soap, Pepsodent Toothpaste, Vaseline, Lifebuoy, and Rexona.

GlaxoSmithKline, a British biotech and healthcare company, has announced its intention to leave Nigeria after 51 years of operations. GSK plans to cease commercializing its top medicines and vaccines in the country through local operating companies and transition to a third-party direct distribution model. The company plans to terminate its distribution agreement and appoint a third-party distributor in Nigeria to supply healthcare products.

Sanofi-Aventi Nigeria
French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventi Nigeria plans to close its direct operations in Nigeria and transition to a third-party distribution model starting in 2024. The global pharmaceutical company plans to launch a transformative business model in Nigeria in February 2024, as per its memo. Sanofi plans to commercialize its medicines through a third-party distributor, according to the company’s new model.

Bolt Food
Bolt will discontinue its nationwide meal delivery service starting December 7, 2023, to improve efficiency and optimize resources. The firm said in a statement: “At this time, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue our food delivery operations in Nigeria due to business reasons.”

Procter & Gamble
Leading consumer goods manufacturer Procter & Gamble plans to dissolve its Nigerian operations, citing challenges in doing business as a dollar-dominated company and due to macroeconomic realities. It stated: “So when you think about places like Nigeria and Argentina, it is difficult for us to operate because of the macroeconomic environment.”

Equinor, a Norwegian energy corporation, has sold its Nigerian operations, including its stake in the Agbami oil field, to Nigerian company Chappal Energies, marking the end of its three-decade presence in Nigeria. The agreement covers the sale of Equinor Nigeria Energy Company (ENEC), which owns a 53.85% interest in oil and gas lease OML 128—including a unitised 20.21% stake in Chevron-operated Agbami oil field. Equinor has significantly contributed to Nigeria’s oil and gas industry growth since 2008, with the Agbami field producing over 1 billion barrels of oil.

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