Govt, Businesses Must Work Together As Partners in Developing Country’s Economy
The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has emphasized that government and private sector operators must work as collaborators and not competitors in order to guarantee and achieve the ambition of developing the country’s economy especially during the current recession.
President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Prince Adetokunbo Kayode stated this at the opening ceremony of the 2020 Abuja International Trade Fair in Abuja on Thursday.
Prince Kayode who noted that for the country to build a lasting legacy of value and ensure that shared prosperity for the next generation is achieved, the public and private sector operators must work as “partners and not combatants”.
He said it was introducing modern practices in line with international best practices and conforming with COVID-19 protocols.
ACCI President, said that over the years, the Chamber had been reforming its organisation of trade fairs as applicable in other parts of the world to satisfy customers.
He gave the assurance that businesses that patronised the fairs would have value for money, with the introduction of new practices in line with International best practices and conforming with COVID-19 protocols.
The ACCI president decried the impact of ENDSARS protests which affected many businesses across the country.
He said the findings of ACCI Policy and Advocacy Centre (PAC) revealed that Abuja lost roughly N900m to the protest.
“Over the weekend, the country slipped into second recession in five years.
“The decline in GDP for the third quarter of 2020 is not unconnected with low activities both at domestic and international levels which hugely affected economic growth because of several lockdown measures.
“We must learn from it and put the lessons learned into action,’’ Kayode said.
Also speaking, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, said that ACCI had been persistently promoting trade and commerce in Nigeria, stating that the Chamber played duo role in economic growth of the nation, whilst building wealth and improving foreign reserves.
“This event is coming at a time that mankind is struggling to overcome the economic and social crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has massively impacted activities and economy as a whole.
“Despite its impact, our administration has noted the opportunities inherent in such a challenging time”.
“The launching of N2.3 trillion Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) in March, 2020 further underscores Federal Government’s commitment to enhance local production, support businesses, provide jobs and succour to fellow Nigerians, especially the most vulnerable demographics,’’ he said.
Alongside interventions in critical areas, he noted that the ESP had also prioritised the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), a segment which accounted for 50 per cent of national Gross Domestic Product.
He said it was important to provide the necessary support to this segment to enable them to respond to the impact of COVID-19.
On recent government MSMEs initiatives, he said the N60 billion MSMEs Survival Fund and N15 billion MSMEs Guaranteed Off-take Scheme were to support vulnerable MSMEs in meeting payroll obligations and safeguard jobs from shock of COVID-19 pandemic.
“To boost our trade activities and prospects, we must support locally manufactured goods. It is in this regard our government signed the Executive Order 003 in 2017, and several campaigns have been launched to create necessary awareness and momentum.
“We will continue to take specific steps to improve implementation of this laudable policy,’’ he said.
Also speaking the FCT minister, Muhammad Bello commended the efforts of the Chamber under the leadership of Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, for its steadfastness and commitment to the development of the trade and business sector of the FCT.
He said the Chamber’s innovative and result oriented ideas and activities, have contributed in no small measure in raising the profile of the FCT as a growing commercial and industrial hub in Nigeria.
The 15th Abuja International Trade Fair, was opened on the on Nov. 24 and would end on Dec. 4. The Fair, with the theme “Trade and Commerce Beyond Borders”, will onlyshowcase indoor and virtual exhibitions at Abuja Trade and Convention Centre.