The American Business Council recently held an FMCG media parley at the American Guest Quarters, Lagos to rub minds with the media on how Nigeria can become the West African Manufacturing hub through increased collaboration between private Sector and Government and improved regulatory environment that will further encourage investments.
The stakeholders noted that the government has a considerable commitment in improving regulatory reforms especially at the Agency levels and are responsive to requests from private sectors for amendments of policies and guidelines that may impinge the slow but steady growth of the manufacturing sector.
The Parley session highlighted the need to have a more laser focus on IP issues, Counterfeits and Parallel Trade which impact government tax revenues and derail Nigeria’s growth aspiration as a West African hub.
Speaking during the interactive session on activities of its members in Nigeria, the Chief Executive Officer/Executive Secretary, Margaret Olele noted that while both local and foreign firms were affected by activities of counterfeiters, the government also loses a lot of revenue that could have been generated from tax when firms performed well in the economy. More foreign investment can come from the confidence that clear IP laws engender.
OluwakemiSaliu, Marketing Manager, Kimberly-Clark, Sub-Saharan Africa, commented that Nigeria offers considerable opportunity to FMCG’s given the increasing number of consumers in the country. However, she also noted the importance of addressing the issue of counterfeit and parallel trade.
“Local manufacturers, employing local people to produce local goods are undermined when parallel imports enter the country. At Kimberly-Clark, we are responding to consumer needs with innovative product offerings including miniaturized items to cater for different market segments and by addressing the needs of the Nigeria market”.
Kimberly-Clark West Africa is a subsidiary of the US-based Kimberly-Clark Corporation. The company began operations in 2012. The company manufactures Huggies baby diapers.
Kimberly-Clark (the parent company) was established in 1872 and employs over 45,000 people worldwide. In addition to the Huggies brand, the company also produces other popular goods such as Kleenex facial tissue and Andrex toilet paper. The company had revenues of $18.2 billion in 2016.
The American Business Council Ltd/Gte, which is also an affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce, was incorporated by the Nigerian Corporate Affairs Commission in February 2007, as a non-profit making company limited by guarantee.
Its objectives include
- To promote the development of commerce and investments between the United States of America and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
- To provide a forum in which American business executives in Nigeria and other business executives with American interests may identify, discuss, pursue common interests affecting their activities.
- To liaise with the Chamber of Commerce of the United States and other chambers of commerce and institutions pursuing similar objects, and to advocate the views of the American business community in Nigeria to public and private interests in the United States and Nigeria.
- To develop programmes for capacity building and human capital development in Nigeria through such initiatives as structured institutional, communal and individual donation of funds, skills, tools, equipment and materials to the educational, health and other sectors involved in the socio-economic development of Nigeria