ADDRESS BY PRINCE ADETOKUNBO KAYODE, CON., SAN PRESIDENT, ABUJA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY (ACCI) AT THE COMMISSIONING of the ACCI BUILDING
14th February, 2020.
We are very pleased to have you all here with us today. A very special day for us and for the Chamber movement in Nigeria.
We want to specially welcome, the former Governor of Ekiti State, now Hon Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, HE Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo, CON, Old lawyer, good friend and brother.
We thank President Mohammadu Buhari GCFR, for graciously agreeing to Commission the ACCI HOUSE and for requesting the Hon Minister to represent him.
We also specially welcome all the members of the National Assembly, Honorable Ministers, Ambassadors, members of the diplomatic corp, captains of Industry, members of the organised private sector led by Hajia Saratu Iya Aliyu, President of NACCIMA, President of FEWACCI and Chairman of the Organised Private Sector in Nigeria. She is the spokes person for us all. We want to specially thank you for your leadership.
We also appreciate the presence of the members of Abuja Chamber and all chambers in Nigeria.
We also welcome the representatives of DATASONIC BERHAD of Malaysia. Datasonic is one of the leading security printing and technology companies in the world. We thank you for believing in Nigeria and for believing in the Abuja Chamber. They will be our first tenants.
I am highly delighted to welcome you to the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) today for the official commissioning of one of our Legacy Projects. The ACCI HOUSE.
The vision of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce is to be leading Chamber of Commerce in Nigeria and one of the best in Africa. And we are on the way.
In 2019 we were adjudged one of the best chambers in the world and definitely the best in Africa, in the skills development sector by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), in Rio, Brazil.
All this is possible because we made a development plan. And we have faithfully implemented the plan. We planned to restructure the Chamber to enable it realise its vision. And we did. We now have four Centres: the BEST CENTRE, Business Entrepreneurship, Skills and Technology Centre, for skills development; the PAC, Policy Advocacy Centre, for policy development and support to government and the economy;
The DRC, Disputes Resolution Centre, for alternative disputes resolution: Arbitration, Mediation, conciliation, and negotiation of commercial disputes;
the Abuja Trade Centre for trade promotion, trade fairs, trade Exposition, information and data.
These centres put the Abuja Chamber in a different class. We are very proud of this. We learnt a lesson. The lesson learnt is that we must always have a plan.
Government must plan. Have a vision. Craft a policy. And implement the plan with doggedness and with unwavering audacity.
By implementing this plan we have been able to attract many activities, programmes and projects to 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.
The goal of our reforms was to excite innovation, encourage new thinking, reduce red-tapeism, enhance efficiency and achieve a lean but efficient work force.
We want to seize the opportunity of the presence of the Hon Minster of Trade to make some suggestions to government.
At all time government must continue to collaborate with the private sector. Not doing this is like clapping with one hand. You can only clap with two hands.
Secondly Nigeria is an SME country.
The membership of the Abuja Chamber is principally SMEs.
And this is the engine of economic growth, real growth.
Consequently government policies, both in crafting and in execution, must emphasise the impact on SMEs.
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 its 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.
And in the same vein we want to encourage the FCT administration to work more closely with Chamber. There is two much gap between us. That is not good enough.
Now a few words on ACCI commercial complex.
This Office Complex consists of six floors of office space of 800 square metres per floor, a fully air conditioned. The sixth floor is a Penthouse. We have generous parking grounds
We have also developed the Abuja Trade and Convention Centre. This is is the largest conference and exhibition centre in Abuja in terms of seater capacity. The main bowl can accommodate about 5000 persons at a time. It also has an adjoining Executive hall and several meeting rooms. This centre is developed to host meetings, conferences, trade expos and social events. We look forward to your patronage of these facilities.
I want to appreciate all our members, Council, Executive committee, our friends, national and international partners, and associates, for continuous support and collaboration.
This year, beginning from April 2020 and thereafter, we shall be organising at least 12 specialised fairs and expos here.
For this year we have the following trade expos:
Waste to Wealth Expo and
Made in Nigeria SME Expo in 28th-30th April;
Halal Expo Nigeria 2020. 8th-10th June.
Abuja and Housing Construction investment Expo 15th-18th June.
Fintech and ICT Data Expo 24th-30th August.
Abuja International Trade Fair 20th-27th September.
To celebrate Nigeria every year and for this year to celebrate Nigeria at 60, we shall start the annual October Fest, to take place from 1st to 7th October of every year.
This will also include the Taste of Nigeria expo, fashion well being fair.
We shall also organise the
Mining Week along with Bitumen, Lube and Base Oil Expo. 15th-18th October.
With the support of the federal ministry of Sports and the budding sports industry we shall organise the first
Sports Expo beginning with Abuja Martahon on 31st October and the
Sports, Hospitality and Travel Expo (SHYTEX), 2nd-4th November.
Our Annual Dinner and Awards night will hold on 12th December
These are huge opportunities for trade promotions and marketing. We look forward to your partnership and collaboration in all these events.
Today, I am more convinced that the task of achieving an enduring Public-Private Partnership is achievable. Such cooperation will pave way for assured national prosperity.
In conclusion, let me say I believe:
If you really desire to succeed you must, from the depth of your soul demand it and totally commit and immerse your life to that desire. Then all the forces of the world will compete to support you and ensure your success.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is by special design that we are all here today to witness this. So we give thanks to the Almighty that made this possible and who did not allow us to falter or fail.
We thank you again for your presence here today. And it is a good day.