The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has attributed Nigeria’s challenging business environment as the primary reason for the departure of multinational companies, including the recent exit of Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing. Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing, once hailed as Africa’s largest syringe manufacturing company, has officially ceased operations in Awa, Onna Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom.
Inaugurated in 2017 by then Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the company, owned by Turkish national Onur Kumral, was one of the several industries attracted to Akwa Ibom State by Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration. The company cited “unforeseen circumstances affecting our business operations” as the primary reason for leaving Nigeria.
A memo addressed to the company’s workers announced the end of its operations on December 31, 2022. The memo, titled “Temporary Redundancy – Service Not Needed Till Further Notice,” and signed by Managing Director Akin Oyediran, stated the need for temporary measures to ensure the company’s long-term sustainability.
The closure of Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing comes over two years after it announced plans to export products to Germany and less than a year after securing a $1 million credit facility. Segun Ajayi-Kadir, the Director-General of MAN, commented that companies exiting Nigeria had been stretched to their “breaking point” due to the employment environment.
Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing joins a growing list of international firms that recently exited Nigeria, including Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, Unilever Nigeria (Home and Skin Care Category), and Sanofi-Aventis.
The exit of Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing from Nigeria is a significant indicator of the challenges facing the manufacturing sector in the country. This departure is not just about a company’s loss; it represents a broader issue of an increasingly complex business environment that drives away multinational investments.
The closure of such a significant manufacturing venture, which had the potential to position Nigeria as a critical player in the medical supplies industry in Africa, is a setback. It underscores the need for urgent reforms to address the factors contributing to this unfavourable business climate. These include infrastructural deficits, policy inconsistencies, and bureaucratic bottlenecks that often hinder business operations.
The departure of Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing and other multinational companies also highlights the need for a more supportive environment for businesses. This includes stable economic policies, reliable infrastructure, and a regulatory framework that encourages rather than stifles growth.
As Nigeria strives to diversify its economy and reduce dependence on oil, the manufacturing sector is crucial. The government must proactively create an enabling environment that attracts and retains investments. This involves addressing the immediate challenges and laying the groundwork for long-term industrial growth and development.
The loss of Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing is a wake-up call to all stakeholders in the Nigerian economy. It’s time to reassess and reinvigorate our approach to fostering a business environment conducive to growth, innovation, and sustainability.
Did You Know?
- Nigeria’s manufacturing sector contributes about 9% to the nation’s GDP.
- The country can potentially become a central hub for pharmaceutical manufacturing in Africa.
- In recent years, Nigeria has seen an increase in the exit of multinational companies due to various operational challenges.
- The Akwa Ibom State Government has actively sought to attract investment to diversify its economy beyond oil and gas.
- The Nigerian government has implemented policies to boost local manufacturing, such as the Central Bank of Nigeria’s intervention funds for the sector.