AFRREV IJAH: An International Journal of Arts and Humanities

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Multinational corporations and skills development in Nigeria: the case of Unilever Nigeria PLC

Joseph O. Jiboku


The quest for skills development perhaps accounts for why developing countries like Nigeria attract multinational corporations (MNCs) to their territories to invest in their economies. MNCs are the custodians of skills vital for social and economic transformation of any nation. However, despite their skills advantage, Nigeria presents a paradox where the long existence of numerous multinational corporations has not translated into the development of local skills which are essential for sustainable development and transformation. Some of the MNCs have shot down operations while some have relocated without the Nigerians being able to operate these companies even on a reduced capacity. In the light of this negative scenario, this paper examined the skills development programmes and strategies of Unilever, Nigeria PLC. Unilever is an old company whose business operations date back to the colonial period and has remained a household name in home care manufacturing. The paper adopted qualitative method of research based on primary data obtained from interviews and secondary data from relevant literature. It situated its arguments on the Human Capital Theory and the Profit Pathology narrative. The paper contended that national institutional framework is required in Nigeria to align multinational skills development practices with the country’s skills development aspirations in order to maximise the MNCs’ skills development benefits.

Keywords: Multinational Corporations, Skills, Governance, Social Development, Economic Development, Transformation, Sustainability

AJOL African Journals Online