Another major company has resorted to laying off staff in response to the stifling economic policies of the Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
A reliable source at Guinness Nigeria Plc confirmed to The Trent that the company has laid off about 300 staff following the economic downturn in Nigeria.
The exercise which was carried out for four days – April 14, 15, 18, and 19, 2016 – affected staff at all cadres in the multinational company.
“Directors were fired on Thursday [April 14], while senior managers were let off on the 15th,” our source, who didn’t wish to be named because he is not authorised to speak with the press. “Regular staff and factory workers were let off on Monday and Tuesday.”
“I must say that the management has handled the process well, in terms of communication. Staff were informed about a month ago that this exercise had begun,” another source confirmed the story to our reporter.
Affected staff, which represent close to 25% of the entire workforce, were paid a “good compensation”, our investigation gathered. The exercise was without rancour.
The main reason for this action is the downturn in the Nigerian economy and the fact that the company cannot access foreign exchange from Central Bank. Production has slowed significantly and sales have been hit by the lack of cash in the economy.
“It is tough. If this continues, there will have to be more cuts,” our source said. “Profit has declined by 60% in the last 9 months compared to the last 9 months preceeding it. Our foreign brands are hardest hit by the forex restrictions. It is actually crazy.”
The Central Bank of Nigeria imposed a restriction on forex soon after Buhari was sworn into office in May 2015. The decision has led to Nigeria being delisted from JP Morgan’s bond index and several foreign companies have left Nigeria. Morgan Stanley announced this week, its plans to also delist Nigeria from its bond index.
Most recently, Iberia Airlines suspended its operations in Nigeria because of the forex restriction policy which has been slammed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and foreign news media like Bloomberg, Reuters, Financial Times, and The Economist.
Experts warn that Buhari’s economic policies will drive away investors and spells to doom for Nigeria.