By Joshua Olalekan, Abuja
The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Nigeria, on Thursday said that the current economic situation in Nigeria would not force Dutch companies already in Nigeria to leave the country.
First Secretary for Economic Affairs of the Netherlands Embassy in Lagos, Ms Tessel Kuijten, told newsmen that the companies were still interested in doing business in Nigeria.
The Netherlands official said that her office had recently met with the companies, during which they expressed their continued interest in doing business in the country.
“The over 30 Dutch companies currently in Nigeria have the conviction that the country has a lot of opportunities now and in the future. Dutch companies in Nigeria see a large population and a good market in Nigeria. They see promising potential in this country.
“Let me, therefore, say that these companies have no intention of leaving Nigeria because of the current economic situation. But they would continue to watch Nigeria’s business and investment environment on a long-term basis,’’ she said.
The Embassy’s First Secretary for Economic Affairs expressed optimism that as soon as Nigeria’s current economic situation improved, more Dutch companies would come to the country.
Kuijten, however, said that Nigeria’s current forex policy was negatively affecting the interests and inflows of more Dutch companies in coming to invest and do business in Nigeria.
According to her, many more Dutch companies interested in investing in Nigeria are still watching to see how the new forex policy will work.
Kuijten said that it was imperative for the Federal Government to also improve on the country’s Ease-of-Doing Business, as well as overhaul the country’s taxation system, to attract more Dutch companies.
“There is a World Bank ranking on the Ease-of Doing Business, which ranked Nigeria at 169 out of 189 countries. This and other factors are giving some Dutch companies a lot of hesitation to come and invest in Nigeria.
“So, there are lots of uncertainties that the new Dutch companies wanting to invest in Nigeria would like the Nigerian Government to make favourable for their businesses,’’ she added.