United Kingdom companies operating in Nigeria on Thursday asked the federal government to provide more foreign exchange (forex) for them to meet their financial obligations.
At an interactive session with Niyi Adebayo, minister of industry, trade and Investment, and Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the UK business team said they need forex to pay their lenders and maintain their machines.
Some of the companies present at the interactive session included GlaxoSmithKline, Savanna Energy, AzuraPower West Africa, Guinness Plc, among others.
In a statement by Ifedayo Sayo, special adviser on media to the trade minister, Edu Okeke, managing director of Azura Power West Africa, lauded the CBN for its support for the power generation company but sought more in terms of forex to enable the company to stay afloat.
He said the company needed forex not only to pay their lenders outside the country but also for the maintenance of their plants.
Omon Elyhibro, representative of GlaxoSmithkline, also commended Adebayo and Emefiele for the support which the businesses had received from the government in the firm’s 50 years of operation in the country.
In his remark, Adebayo, who facilitated the meeting, said the growth of these companies would mean more money for the government to build more infrastructure and also create jobs for the teeming Nigerian youths.
Also speaking at the meeting, Emefiele, who was represented by Kingsley Obiora, CBN deputy governor of economic policy, explained that the apex bank was doing its best to assist manufacturers with forex.
He said the three main sources of forex inflow to the Nigerian economy are crude oil sales, remittances from Nigerians abroad and foreign investors.
Emefiele noted that the fall in the prices of crude oil has affected the inflow of forex, adding that this informed the ban on the importation of goods that can be produced locally to ensure judicious use of the available forex.
He assured that some of the suggestions raised by the companies would be looked into to assist them in their daily operations.