‘US Companies in Nigeria Generated N1.4tn Revenue in 2018’

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The American Business Council (ABC) on Wednesday said that US companies operating in Nigeria generated N1.4 trillion as revenue in 2018.

Board Member, ABC and Partner, Pricewatercoopers, Mr. Andrei Ugarov, made the disclosure during the media launch of the 2019 ABC’s Economic Survey on the impact of US companies in Nigeria in Lagos.

Ugarov said that over 66 per cent of US companies had identified Nigeria as a regional hub for their operation in West Africa and are planning for expansion of their businesses, as against 52.4 per cent in 2017.

“Over 63.2 per cent of US companies have local content target, this is reflected in areas such as products, people and supply chain,” he said

According to him, the respondent US companies also spent over N2.8 billion investment to expand operation in the next five years and over N2.8 billion planned on investment in the next three years.

Ugarov noted that the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow contributed by the US companies rose from $1.3 billion in 2017 to $1.19 billion in 2018.

He stated that through the value chains of the American business, the companies also created over 3 million indirect jobs and over 18 million direct jobs in 2018, as against 9,000 direct jobs in 2017.

“The companies also spent over N1.6 billion on training in 2018, ” he said.

The ABC’s board member, however, identified the top issues impacting business in Nigeria as specific industry regulation, crime and security, general policy regulation and taxation.

Also, Mr Dipo Faulkner, ABC President, said US companies spent over N1.9 billion on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the country in 2018, which was above N1.5 billion spent in 2017.

Faulkner listed part of the recent CSR projects embarked upon by the selected companies to include electrification of 1.2 km road in Ogu Community in Rivers State and construction of a school library in Ogu Government Technical College.

He said the US companies also sponsored a Cervical Cancer Screening Programme in Ile-Ife and a developmental programme which uses chess to improve strategic and critical thinking amongst secondary school students in Lagos state.

“The companies planted over 1,000 trees to reduce erosion and trained over 250 farmers on better maize and tomatoes growing practices.

“Developed Centre for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s) facilities in Akwa Ibom, ” he said.

According to him, the report presented highlights US companies’ impact on the Nigeria economy in 2018 through Gross Value Added to the nation’s economic output investment, jobs and communities

The ABC President also explained that the data and analysis in the report were based on the responses of over 58 US companies operating in Nigeria who completed the survey.

Mrs Margaret Olele, CEO, American Business Council, also said that the US have increased the ratio of women in their companies in relations to gender equality policy .

“One in five board members are women, 20 per cent of the management team are women and 20 to 49 per cent of employees in our companies are women, ” she said.

According to her, a lot of the foreign companies were also facing a complex regulatory environment but there have been ongoing active engagement with the regulators.

She said collaborating with the regulators would improve the ease of doing business and unlock a lot of opportunities that US companies could bring to the table .

Olele confirmed that FDI had been fairly stable compared to last year, as it increased from $1.3 billion to $1.19 billion.

“There is always this level of policy slow down during the electoral year, but the quarter where we had the election this year did not experience any tension.

“That suggests that democracy is good for any country and it encourages investors ,no matter the complexity or challenges faced,” she said.

The ABC CEO however assured that the US companies were compliant with prompt payment of their taxes, as they were aware of the implication of evading such , although many of them would not want to disclose such classified information.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the administration and report of the survey is a collaboration between ABC and the United States Embassy,Verraki, KPMG and Pwc.