By Chris Uba
The Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has pledged to partner with the federal government in the ongoing effort to reposition the economy for greater performance.
The association said it will participate in the arrangements for the implementation of the economic programmes under the Economic Sustainable Plan (ESP) announced by the federal government to kick-start the economy after the ravaging effect of Covid-19 pandemic, while also working to ensure that Nigeria maximises benefits derivable from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.
These were part of the declaration made by National President of the association, Saratu Aliyu, at a media briefing organised as part of the ceremony to mark the association’s 60th anniversary, to hold in Port Harcourt, Rivers State in November.
Aliyu said NACCIMA was instrumental to the ESP instituted by the government for the organised businesses, adding that the association stood as guarantor to its members who benefited from the programme. According to her, the initial stimulus package has since been followed by the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) of N2.3trillion.
“We have taken due note of the various programmes and projects under the Economic Sustainability Plan and various Stimulus Packages recently unveiled. This includes the N50 billion survival fund for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (MSME) and the N15 billion Guaranteed Uptake Scheme to save 500,000 jobs.
“Notably, under this intervention, 40 per cent of the funds would be reserved for women-owned business and it is encouraging that it has been indicated that the private sector will play an important role to rejuvenate the economy through these intervention schemes,” she declared.
She said, “NACCIMA and member chambers are eagerly looking forward to participate in the arrangements for the implementation of these programmes and packages under the ESP,” even as she pledged that the association would invigorate its economic advocacy to position Nigeria for global economic competition while also working returning the economy to the path of sustainable growth.
On the 2021 National Budget, the NACCIMA President said, “we welcome the various facilities in the budget, such as the 100 billion for households and the N100 billion for healthcare and pharmaceuticals and N1trillion for large agriculture and manufacturing business.
“We have also taken due note of the indication that the facilities will be at reduced interest rate from nine to five per cent. We understand the desire to improve rail and road infrastructure and resolve our energy deficiency.
“But we need to stress that in our desire to deal with these issues as a country we must be careful of unnecessary debt burden. We must not slide back to become a debtor nation again.”
According to her, “all said and done, the success of the budget is dependent on its prompt passage and rigorous implementation. We therefore call on the National Assembly for prompt processing and passage of the budget.”
“As private sector operators we are ready to heed the call by the President to the private sector to come forward and avail ourselves of the various funding facilities. We therefore hope those who will administer the funds will ensure proper and effective implementation of the facilities.”
She said the association has made remarkable strides since was established in 1960, adding that no effort would be spared in ensuring that the vision of its founding was realised.
“The global economy and national economies will no longer be the same as we know it. So for our 60th Anniversary which has already started, and will continue till February next year, we have chosen the theme, ‘The Future of Business.’
“We are continuously reflecting and already adopting strategies to navigate our new and emerging economic. We now hold many of our meetings virtually, carry out many of our activities, such as Business Forums, B2B Meetings, signing of MoU on line,” she said.
NACCIMA has remained the Voice of Nigerian Business through advocacy for policies that can and provide conducive environment for the growth and development of business, trade promotion and other economic activities part of major historic decisions such as the enactment of the Nigerian Enterprises Promotion Decree of 1972 also commonly referred to as the indigenization decree which was subsequently amended in 1977.