By Hilary Akalugwu
Mr Dele Oye, the National President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), says adequate attention to MSMEs will reduce poverty and unemployment in the country.
Oye said this in Nsukka on Monday during the investiture of Mr. Sam Otoboeze as the new President of Nsukka Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mine and Agriculture (NSCCIMA).
He said for any developing country to achieve economic prosperity and stability, the country must give special attention to MSMEs in order to create more job opportunities and reduce poverty.
The president explained that the role of Chambers of Commerce was crucial in shaping and boosting any economy
“I am a firm believer that poverty and unemployment can be reduced to the barest minimum by government if MSMEs are given special attention.
He urged NACCIMA to forge strategic partnerships, stimulate businesses and drive sustainable growth with the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN).”
“The unique Nsukka yellow pepper, Nsukka honey, cashew, and palm produce are resources we can harness. These are more than just products; they are symbols of our land’s bounty.
“With the right strategies and commitment, they can transform the economic fortunes of Nsukka zone,” he said.
Oye, represented by Mr. Leonard
Ugwu, President of 9th Mile Chamber of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture (9CCIMA), congratulated Otoboeze on his investiture as the new President of NSCCIMA.
“I am optimistic that your leadership will take the chamber to greater heights by making significant contributions to the socio-economic development of the area,” he said.
In a keynote address, Sen. Okey Ezea, representing Enugu North Senatorial District in the National Assembly, said Nsukka was strategically positioned to feed South East zone.
His speech, tagged “Transformation of Enugu North Senatorial District Through Strategic Collaboration”, said he would use his position to revive the economic potential of the area.
“Nsukka is strategically positioned to feed the entire South East and beyond and we must ensure that this is accomplished in the foreseeable future,” he said.
The Senator, represented by Prof. Paulinus Ugwoke, Chairman, Nsukka Association of Professors, said he would collaborate with local and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that the lost glory in business and agriculture in Nsukka zone was restored.
In a remark, Chief Ben Etiaba, former Chairman of the London Group of Nigerian Professionals who chaired the occasion, commended NSCCIMA for its quest to transform Nsukka zone into an economic hub.
Etiaba expressed optimism in the ability of Otoboeze to take the chamber to the next level and solicited the support of government at all levels and other stakeholders to enable the chamber to achieve its vision.
Also in a remark, Adaora Chukwu, the Enugu State Commissioner for Trade, Investment and Industry, represented by Mr. Ifeanyi Onah, a Permanent Secretary in the ministry, said NACCIMA’s vision was in line with government’s agenda to support MSMEs in order to boost the economy.
Speaking, Dr. Basil Onugu, the outgone pioneer president of NSCCIMA who handed over to Otoboeze, said the investiture marks the end of his tenure as the first president of the chamber.
He noted that the chamber, under his watch, promoted the ‘Ose Nsukka’ (Nsukka yellow pepper) to the global market among other things.
“We conducted trade fairs, trade missions as well as set up joint farming projects through multi-purpose cooperative society and other special purpose vehicles.
“All these are geared towards boosting the economy of the area and encouraging small and medium enterprises in Nsukka zone and the state in general.
In his acceptance speech shortly after taking the oath of office, Otoboeze promised that he would
stimulate the economy of the zone through agriculture and attract both local and foreign investors.
The new president said that agriculture would help to expand the potential of the zone and also help in creating more jobs for the youths.
He expressed appreciation to the pioneer Chamber executives and pledged that he would do everything within his capacity to take the chamber to greater heights.
Earlier in his address, Mr. Uchenna Nnadi, the Director General of NSCCIMA, said that the association remains a non-religious and non-political, but an institutional economic advocate for the development and growth of MSMEs.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the highlights of the event was the inauguration of new NSCCIMA executives and patrons of the chamber (NAN)