As the Nigerian business community continues to struggle under the scarcity of foreign exchange occasioned by the slide in the prices of crude oil in the international market, Truworths has announced that it has pulled out of its Nigerian business.
The company cited import restrictions for its action. Its chief executive made the announcement in a statement he issued. This has signaled the government attempts to boost local industry are hurting foreign investment.
As well as being unable to fill its shelves, the clothing retailer said it was struggling to pay its rent and get access to foreign exchange which has dried up due to a collapse in oil prices. Nigeria is Africa’s biggest crude exporter.
“We were unable to operate the stores properly any longer because we were unable to send merchandise to the stores because there’s regulation preventing that,” Michael Mark told Reuters in telephone interview.
In an attempt to boost local manufacturing and prop up the ailing naira, the government has effectively banned the import of almost 700 goods, ranging from rice to toothpicks, bread and soap.
Even non-banned items are difficult to import due to dollar shortages.
The scarcity of fore reign has led to the inability of independent petrol marketers to import petroleum products into the country and the Nigerian National petroleum Corporation has become the sole importer of the products. However, the corporation has not been able to meet the demand of Nigerians and has led to scarcity of the products and attendant hardship on Nigerians.
The scarcity of petroleum products has led to increase in the cost the transport and this, has in turn led to the increase in the prices almost all consumables across the country. Nigerians are begging the Federal Government to act urgently and ring the situation back to normal.