Saratu Iya Aliyu

The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has come up with a 16 point agenda to promote a vibrant regional economy through public and private sector collaboration,

The President of the Association, Hajiya Saratu Iya Aliyu, made this known at a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House Abuja, recently.

Aliyu who is also the president of Federation of West Africa Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FEWACCI) and chairman of Nigeria’s Organised Private Sector of Nigeria (OPS) led a delegation of the three bodies to the statehouse to discuss with President Buhari and his team.

Aliyu told Mr President that NACCIMA will engage the Federal Government on a 16-point agenda for Nigeria’s business growth and socioeconomic advancement through public and private sector collaboration. These include security, adherence to law and ethics, proactive policy engagement, trade capacity building, efficient taxation, government intervention programmes, creative industry, agribusiness, solid minerals and metals, micro and medium scale development, technology and infrastructure, industrial parks, regional integration, AfCFTA, multiplicity of private sector organizations, Women and Youth empowerment.

On challenges faced by businesses in Nigeria, Aliyu highlighted infrastructure deficit, multiple taxation, elimination of obstacles to exports, need for government to patronize local banks and more interventions to support women and youth empowerment. Despite the presence of these challenges, Aliyu said “we prefer to look at the brighter side especially when the issues appear seasonal and with the current efforts of the Federal Government in setting up the Economic Advisory Team, NACCIMA, FEWACCI and indeed the Organised Private Sector in Nigeria are full of hope that a new era is on the horizon”. She said the caliber of persons on the EA team reassures the Organised Private Sector that Government is ready to turn around the story of Nigeria.

Aliyu commended the government on maximization of African Continental Free Trade Agreement AfCFTA and requested for a property within Abuja for the location of a Headquarters and Secretariat for FEWACCI befitting of Nigeria’s position as the leading economic powerhouse in Africa.

Aliyu emphasised her role in 3 capacities leading the 3 bodies of NACCIMA, the OPS and FEWACCI to meet the president. She solicited the support and assistance of Mr. President in the provision of logistics necessary to realize the FEWACCI Headquarters in Nigeria. She said “our colleagues from other ECOWAS countries are here and will appreciate your Excellency’s kind magnanimity to our requests especially on Nigeria’s commitment as host country obligations for FEWACCI secretariat and support”

In response, President Buhari acknowledged Aliyu’s request and asked to formally submit in writing to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment to enable the government review and act accordingly.

President Muhammadu Buhari who personally welcomed NACCIMA, OPS and FEWACCI commended NACCIMA for its role in the AfCFTA. He said “I am aware that your association actively participated and made valuable contributions during the consultation process of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. We valued, accepted and adopted your contributions”

The President said the implementation of the AfCFTA agreement is the next frontier for Nigerian businesses and “is our collective duty to ensure we get it right. That the interest of the various sectors of the Nigerian economy are safeguarded”

The President said trade is central to Nigeria’s economy and the government remain committed to ensuring this vibrant job-creating sector continues to flourish. He acknowledged and said the government consult key stakeholders like NACCIMA in developing our policies.

President Buhari told Aliyu and the 3-fold delegation, that the implementation validates Nigeria’s action as a Government in insisting that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement must not only promote free trade, but legal trade of quality made in Africa goods and services.

He, however, solicited the support of NACCIMA, OPS and FEWACCI in Nigeria and across West Africa “to ensure that we bring an end to the dumping of substandard items in our region and on the continent”.

The president further charged NACCIMA in achieving a free trade area that employs Africans to produce quality made in Africa products.

He said “we will soon finalise the National Action Committee on the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area. Your Association is a member of this committee. I expect you to continue your positive and patriotic contribution to support us in achieving a free trade area that employs Africans to produce quality made in Africa products”

Aliyu made a formal presentation of a 16-point Agenda to engage the Federal Government in Unleashing the Giant for Nigeria and requested his directives to the appropriate Bodies of Government to engage with NACCIMA towards ensuring that Government policy formulation, implementation and most importantly, policy monitoring have broad the private sector input.

Aliyu while speaking to the media expressed satisfaction at the outcome of meeting with President Buhari. Mr. Faman Toure the President of Cote d’ivoire chamber of commerce and Fewacci is Vice President said he is impressed with outcome of meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.

Delagates include members of NACCIMA, FEWACCI, MAN, NASSI and other OPS.

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