President’s New Year Message
It is my pleasure to welcome members of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and the larger Organized Private Sector, locally and internationally, to the Year 2021, a year of recovery after a tumultuous experience of Year 2020. My conviction is that this new year will bring succur to us individually and to our businesses which witnessed disruptions in 2020.
We enter the new year with a new continental experience under the free trade regime, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. This new platform provides us with a golden opportunity to deploy lessons learnt from the 2020 pandemic which is still disrupting business activities and economies all over the world.
The pandemic had triggered disruptions of global production value chains, very low economic growth globally and the plunging of Nigerian and other African economies into recession. 2020 has changed business operational models. The role of digital platforms in local and global economies is one reality which we must all accept. In all these, I am convinced that with appropriate policy focus, Nigeria’s economy can harness the negative pandemic experiences into building blocks for a strong recovery. As hard as its impact in the past one year has been, it presents multiple opportunities which can best be exploited through proactive policy reforms across various sectors of the economy.
To this end, the ACCI under my leadership is going to deliberately focus on the following areas to assist our members and the government as we struggle to exit the recession and build a sustainable economic recovery:
- We will ensure deliberate policy engagement with government and other stakeholders to address gaps, if any, in the existing policy framework;
- We will particularly focus on critical sectors such as agriculture, energy, manufacturing, transportation, construction and financial services by creating policy review platforms involving all stakeholders. This is critical for the government to have necessary access to the thinking of other stakeholders across sectors;
- We will advocate for the urgent reform of Nigerian trade policy in line with current realities. This is even more germane under the new AfCFTA;
- Much more Importantly, the ACCI will create and pursue a robust legislative policy series to ensure adequate private sector inputs into legislations bordering on the economy. With our partners, we will ensure a regular legislative policy engagement to ensure adequate representation of private sector viewpoints in the legislative process.
As we strive to realize the above and more, I must place on records our appreciation of government efforts towards reviving the economy. We present our platforms in support of robust engagement in this difficult era. I however urge governments at federal and state levels, to accept the Chamber of Commerce as a viable partner. Close engagement with Chamber movement will enrich policy making and implementation while also helping to boost the economy.
In conclusion, I promise our members and partners a robust support in service delivery. We will be there for the private sector in pushing for and achieving policies favourable to business and private sector in general.
Have a blessed Happy New Year.
Alhaji Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, FCA,
Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI)