Chambers of Commerce, Key to Sustainable Economic Growth, Devt – NACCIMA
The National President of the National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Hajiya Saratu Iya Aliyu has disclosed that the Chambers of Commerce in the country would play a key role in the sustainable economic growth and development, as the nation unveils Agenda 2050, and works on a Medium Term National Development Agenda and successor plan to the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
Hajiya Saratu stated this last week during a meeting jointly organised by the International Trade Center (ITC) and Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) with the Director General of the World Trade Organization, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in Abuja.
Hajiya Saratu informed the gathering that NACCIMA established the NACCIMA Business Women Group (NAWORG) in 2004, with the objective to promote advancement and economic engagement of women within and outside the Chamber movement in order to promote its commitment to gender equality and economic empowerment of women.
She also stated that NAWORG has State-Chapters across the country and works in close collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and other stakeholders and International Organizations such as the Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), adding that the overall objective was to promote advancement and economic engagement of women within and outside the Chamber movement.
She informed the gathering that the association is the premier National Chamber and umbrella body for all the City/State and Bilateral Chambers of Commerce in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “Since its inception, NACCIMA has grown into a robust national Chamber and the Association has gained significance with national and global recognition. It has become the most effective and efficient organ through which the Nigerian Business-class influence government policies on a wide range of issues affecting trade, commerce and industry” she said. She noted that the Association was also enlightening its members on the African Continental Free Trade Area with the aim of building their capacities as the implementation kicks off.
Speaking, the Director General, WTO, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said that women are the largest untapped reservoir of talents stating that If they were given equal access to global international market as men, economic growth and global GDP will increase by 28 trillion USD per year.
She explained that women account for more than half the small and medium scale enterprises in the country stating that the sector can spur higher productivity and higher wages if properly assisted.
“I am one who is focused on trying to help entrepreneurs because I believe in connecting SMEs to international market, it can drive a virtuous cycle of economic of scale and learning” she said.
She regretted the SMEs only account for 7.6 percent of exports adding that supporting women economic empowerment was very crucial.
“Women economic empowerment is good and smart economics, your Hardwork is very meaningful for all Nigerians and that is why supporting trade for small, medium enterprises especially for women entreprneurs is meaningful”.
She noted that at the WTO, “We can make and negotiate rules that can help micro, medium and small enterprises and women in trade penetrate the international market, have a level playing field for doing so, improve incomes so that through inclusion we will be lifting those who have been left behind” she said.