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Inflation, Policy Woes Push Guinness Out Of Nigerian Market

By William Emmanuel Ukpoju

Diageo, the parent company of Guinness Nigeria Plc, has announced its decision to withdraw from the Nigerian market after a 75-year presence. This move has ignited a flurry of reactions across social media platforms, highlighting the economic challenges and uncertainties facing the country.

Critics of the government argue that Diageo’s departure reflects poorly on the state of the Nigerian economy. They cite a string of recent exits by international companies, including Unilever, GSK, Sanofi, Bolt Food, P&G, and Microsoft, as evidence of a lack of confidence in the business environment.

Rising inflation rates and policy uncertainties under President Bola Tinubu’s leadership are seen as key factors driving these departures. Conversely, supporters of the administration emphasize the resilience of local industries and the potential opportunities arising from Diageo’s exit.

They point to the acquisition of Guinness Nigeria’s majority stake by Tolaram, a Singapore-based conglomerate, as a positive development. This move, they argue, presents an opportunity for local players to take a more prominent role in the market.

The acquisition agreement stipulates that Tolaram will acquire Diageo’s 58.02% shareholding in Guinness Nigeria, ensuring the continued production of the Guinness brand and its locally manufactured Diageo ready-to-drink and mainstream spirits.

This has sparked discussions about the future of the Nigerian beverage industry and the broader implications for the local economy.

As reactions continue to pour in on social media, with hashtags such as #DiageoExit and #NigeriaEconomy trending, it remains to be seen how this development will shape the future of Nigeria’s business landscape and economic trajectory.