Abuja, Feb. 9, 2024: The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) says the private sector, not the government, is the engine of economic opportunity.
The ACCI President, Mr Emeka Obegolu, said this during his inauguration ceremony dinner as the 12th President of the ACCI in Abuja.
Obegolu, who said he assumed leadership at a time when Nigeria faced enormous challenges , expressed confidence that the private sector would rise up to ameliorate some of these challenges.
He commended steps by the Federal Government to remove subsidy, the unification of foreign exchange market and student loan programme among others.
He said:“ while these measures may have initially tested our resilience, we believe they will, with time, yield the desired results.
“We can only urge the government to deepen the collaboration with the private sector, represented by the chamber of commerce.
“A partnership that has the potential to significantly benefit the business community, the society, and the national economy.
“We must never forget that the private sector, is the engine of economic opportunity; small businesses flourish and can provide good jobs when government acts as a productive partner.’’
According to Obegolu, the ACCI has been on the forefront of fostering economic growth, entrepreneurship, and innovation in Nigeria through its initiatives and entities.
He said the chamber had consistently demonstrated its commitment to driving sustainable development and empowering businesses across diverse sectors.
On security in the country, he said the ACCI would collaborate with the defense and national security leadership, to institute an annual summit on security, defense and business.
The ACCI president said this would review and proffer solutions to the challenges facing us as a nation and foster confidence and assurance that Nigeria was a safe destination for investment.
On vision, Obegolu said his administration would prioritise collaboration with the government, non-state stakeholders and capacity building within the ACCI team.
He said this would enhance management processes for improved efficiency and productivity.
“Ongoing projects initiated by the previous administration will be completed within a stipulated timeframe. We aspire to maximise the investment potential of ACCI assets, adding world-class projects to our distinguished records.
“To strengthen our various departments, financial self-reliance will be promoted, and necessary support provided to achieve their mandates.
“Collaboration with the National Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) will be intensified, giving the chamber a national outlook to better serve our members.
“As ACCI president, I will do my best to discharge my duties and undertake to respect judgments and advice by council members and EXCO. I could not have asked for a better team. Together we can !,’’ he said.
During his goodwill message, the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, charged the chamber to come up with programmes that would include youths and women in the society.
“I charge ACCI to draw up programmes that will inspire these set of people so they can contribute to the social, economic development and growth of the society.
“Prioritise initiatives that promote and empower our youth and women who are the key drivers of the future economy.
“For those outside Abuja, draw up programmes that will include these young ones, who are agitating for one thing or the other.
“Let us have a programme that will give them that sense of inclusion, teach them skills, expose them to opportunities that will make them have confidence in themselves to use their brain not their hands,’’ he said.
Kalu then urged all the chamber of commerce in the South-Eastern region to make programmes that will teach our youths the best ways of developing themselves and impacting on the society positively
He expressed no doubt that the new president would lead the sector with integrity, wisdom and strong commitment.
“I wish to inform you that the House of Representatives will always be there through our various committees of commerce and industry to support your initiatives
“Bring up the laws that you think needs legislative intervention to make the lives of businessmen in Nigeria easier
“We will partner with you in redesigning the laws of our federal government with regards to commerce and industry.
“Together let us forge ahead , united in our pursuit in the economic, society justice and sustainable development,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some past presidents of the chamber, government officials, heads of private sector, royalties, friends and well-wishers among other dignitaries attended the event