…Lauds Chamber for impacting on economy
By Victor Akaa, Abuja
The Federal Government of Nigeria, has inaugurated an edifice, initiated and executed by the Executive of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), led by Prince Adetokunbo Kayode.
Commissioning the project in Abuja, the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari extolled the leadership of Prince Kayode saying the project will create more jobs, promote and attract more economic opportunities for the country.
Represented by the minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi, the President expressed satisfaction over the leadership of the Chambers for driving the initiative towards achieving the desired objectives of the organisation.
“Today is a momentous event in the life of Nigerian economy and the much talked about Public-Private Partnership (PPP) .This is particularly so because, today is a day we are deepening the already existing cordial relationship between the government and Organised Private Sector (OPS).
“I have watched with great excitement the Midas touch, competence and capability my brother, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, SAN and his team have injected into the running and management of the Chamber which is transmogrified into these legacy projects.
“It is the same energy that has led to the construction of the gigantic edifices that we are inaugurating here today. I have the belief that in a circumstance like this, a lot of commitment might have been channelled towards achieving this. I am overwhelmed with the concept the Abuja Chamber of Commerce used in order to drive this development.
“The Six (6) Ultra-Modern Office Complex, expansive International Convention Centre as well as the Business Entrepreneurial Skills and Technology (BEST) Centres building of three (3) units are clear testimonies to the visionary leadership in the chamber”. Buhari expressed.
According to the President, the chamber has also facilitated the economic development, and create more jobs as well as woe more economic cooperation and partnership with other countries amongst others.
“I have noticed that, these facilities were consciously developed in line with the ACCI strategic objective which is to promote Economic Growth and Development in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in particular and Nigeria in general.
“The facilities are meant to serve the needs of business organisations
Apart from the buildings, let me also emphasise that the Chamber has also taken it upon itself to drive investment into the country. It has facilitated both inward and outward business delegations from Russia, Vietnam, Turkey, Syria, Malaysia amongst others. They have done this effectively by signing friendly business cooperation with other Chambers across the globe and also establish bi-lateral relations with other nations of the world.
“Consequently, economic diplomacy has been scaled up by this chamber. These are genuine efforts that we most commend.
“ It surprising to many people that it has set the pace by embarking on actions, functions, activities and unlocked several doors of opportunities which have put our people to work and also expanded businesses.
“Instructively, the establishment of the 4-Centres in this Chamber is another milestone of achievement that needs to be appreciated by all and sundry. These Centres are charged with several individual yet cross-cutting responsibilities that have far-reaching positive impact on businesses in Nigeria.
“The Chamber also boasts of a vibrant think-tank known as the Policy Advocacy Centre (PAC). PAC consistently packages advocacy and Roundtables in key areas such as: Budgeting process; Digital economy; National Livestock Transformation Policy; Apapa port operations; SMEs funding mechanism; importantly, PAC sets agenda for us during the 2019 Africa-Russia Investment forum which took place in Sochi-Russia lasting October.
Equally, the Dispute Resolution Centre (DRC), is deeply engrossed in the task of using arbitration, mediation and conciliation to ventilate on commercial disputes referred to it. In view of disputes arising from public contracts, the Centre also held a workshop to address this in the same manner as it organises capacity building series in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) registrars and secretaries”. He further explained.
President Buhari further expressed the resolve and commitment of the FG in working closely with ACCI and stakeholders in promoting as well as boosting the all-embracing economy of the country.
Earlier in his welcome address, the President Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode explained that the Abuja Chamber which is more of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs),but regretted that some of the business policy including multiple taxation, regulations has affected the economy negatively and called on the government to change the statesquo.
“At the chamber we can tell you the negative impact of policy on business. The impact of regulation, of multiple taxation, of ineffective funding mechanism, of a negative philosophy about commercial lending. All these reduce the ability of our economy to pull its weight. We have to correct this. And the private sector knows it and feels it. So it is very important that government continue to engage with the private sector to enhance our economic development.
“It is important that the Presidency do more of monitoring and evaluation. We must continue to assess the impact and efficacy of policy and execution. How far has a policy achieved it purpose? Constant engagement with the Chambers of Commerce will enable government get the appropriate feedback. No person complains just for the sake of it”. He explained.
Mr. Kayode boasted that his leadership is on the right track in achieving the vision of the organisation as the leading Chamber of Commerce in Nigeria and one of the best in Africa.
The fit he said has led the organisation to be adjudged one of the best chambers in the world and in Africa, in the skills development sector by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), in Rio, Brazil, in the year 2019.
He further called on the the government to continue to collaborate with the private sector to boost the businesses, as well as influencing the economy policy positively.
The edifice has six floors with office space of 800 square metres per floor, with fully air conditioner, trade and convention centre, a main bowl with a capacity of5000 persons,several meeting rooms, conferences, amongst other facilities.
The event was attended by development partners, private sectors, members of the national assembly ,members of diplomatic corps, including Ambassadors of Japan, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, amongst others.
The centre is expected to organise some prominent events such as Made in Nigeria SME Expo,
Abuja and Housing Construction investment Expo, Mining Week along with Bitumen, Lube and Base Oil Expo, amongst others.