James Emejo in Abuja
President Muhammadu has praised the contributions of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) towards the development of the economy.
He said the chamber has under the leadership of its President, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, signed friendly business cooperation agreements with other chambers across the globe as well as bi-lateral relations with other countries.
Speaking over the weekend, while official inaugurating ACCI legacy projects, including a six-storey complex in Abuja, Buhari said the chamber’s numerous activities in recent times had led to the scaling up of economic diplomacy, adding that “these are remarkable efforts that must be commended.”
Represented by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Niyi Adebayo, the president said:”ACCI has set the pace by embarking on actions, functions and activities that have created several employment opportunities and expanded businesses, including facilitating delegations from Russia, Vietnam, Turkey, Syria, Malaysia and all West African Countries, amongst others.”
He said the federal government remained committed to the chamber’s mission and will continue to work closely with its stakeholders in generating the needed synergy required to boost an all-embracing economy.
He said: “My government has watched with great pleasure the midas touch that Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, SAN, the council and management team of ACCI have displayed in operating and managing the chamber which has translated into these legacy projects.
“It is the same energy that has led to the construction of this gigantic complex that we are inaugurating here today. I know that a lot of resources and commitment have been channelled towards achieving this. I am impressed with the strategy that this chamber has used to drive this development.”
He described the occasion as a “momentous event in the life of the Nigerian economy as we recommit to deepening our relationship with the Organised Private Sector (OPS).”
Meanwhile, Kayode said impact of regulation, multiple taxation, ineffective funding mechanism, as well as negative philosophy about commercial lending currently affect the economy negatively.
He said the government should sustain its engagement with the private sector to enhance our economic development, stressing that “the private sector knows it and feels it”.
He noted that government policies, both in crafting and in execution, must emphasise the impact on SMEs going forward.
The ACCI president said:”It is important that the presidency do more 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 the government get the appropriate feedback. No person complains just for the sake of it. And in the same vein we want to encourage the FCT administration to work more closely with the chamber. There is too much gap between us. That is not good enough.”
Nonetheless, he said his administration had been implementing a plan which had been able to attract many activities, programmes and projects of the chamber.
“And we have succeeded in widening and deepening the influence of the Chamber, boosting businesses of our members and influencing issues and policies in our country”, he said.