Traders in Auto Spare Parts and Machinery Dealers Association (ASPMDA) are praying for a crisis-free year in the leadership of the market.
Recall that last year, the leadership of the biggest auto spare markets market in West Africa was enmeshed in deep crisis that stretched from Lagos to Abuja with even the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu getting involved in the settlement of the disputes.
Traders in the market, however, said that they don’t want any of that in this New Year.
According to them, what they want is a peaceful atmosphere to transact their businesses.
They told Sunday Sun that leadership crisis is like an evil wind that blows no one any good.
They said that the main reason some of the markets are being closed down was because of leadership crisis.
Paulinus Egwuonwu, former general secretary of the association, said that most of the time, what causes leadership crisis in the market was lack of transparency on the part of those piloting the affairs of the market.
According to him, if there is openness in the administration of the market, there would be no crisis.
He said that his pray was that the leadership of the market should learn how to put God first and then their personal desires last.
His words: “Sincerely, I don’t really know what ASPMDA is turning into. It is true that once there are more than one person, there are bound to be conflict because there would always be varying interests. So, the issue is how do we resolve this conflict so that it would not lead to crisis. Conflict has always being here in ASPMDA. When I was the General Secretary, there was conflict. But we did not allow it to degenerate to crisis. People outside then might think that our administration was smooth sailing, certainly not. We were disagreeing to agree.
“But right now, the conflict is not being well managed and that is the reason some people have resorted to writing petitions and some of the time frivolous petitions to Zone 2 and to the Inspector General of Police, which is not in the interest of anybody, even the petitioners themselves”.
Also contributing, Chike Obilor said that the leadership crisis that reigned in the market last year should not repeat itself this year.
He said that his prayer for the year is to see a peaceful ASPMDA market in 2020.
He said that though it is the leaders in the market that are fighting, it is affecting the ordinary people in the market.
“My prayer for the New Year is a very peaceful ASPMDA. We all are in the market to look for the means of survival and not to fight. So, those who are writing petitions should give peace a chance,” he said.
Balogun Business Association election hots up
…As over 4 aspirants indicate interest to be president
Balogun Business Association, Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, Badagry Expressway, Lagos would soon be witnessing another round of election as its current President, Tony Obih would be handing over to his successor, though a lot of the traders who know his capability in administration are complaining that the crisis in the market have not allowed him to give his best to the market and as such should be given another chance.
However, many of the traders in the complex have indicated interest to take over the mantle of leadership from Chief Obih.
While some of them really want to compete for the coveted position, others merely want to test their popularity or to make their presence felt in the market. Balogun Business Association has proved to be a preparatory ground for leadership in the society as some of its former leaders like Chief Anslem Dunu and Chief Valentine Ayika had after becoming president and vice president respectively went ahead to become honourable members in the Anambra State House of Assembly.
Those who have so far indicated interest to run for the position of the president include, Ogbuefi Emma Otunabo, Chief John Ezeako, Chief Paul Odugwu and Chief Hilary Amande. Ogbuefi Otunabo represents the ancient and modern of the market, being a founding member and also former General Secretary of the market under Prince Tony Akanaegbu (Adidas) as president.
Chief Ezeako is the current treasurer of the market and has also served in the same capacity in a former administration.
Chief Odugwu is a philanthropist of note, whose good heart has been felt in the market and beyond, while Chief Amande is a member of the very influential building committee of the market and allegedly has the support of a former president, Chief Alex Obi-Odunukwe, popularly known as Pele.
Speaking on the chances of the incumbent president, Chief Obih to win if he chooses to contest again, a founding member of the market, Chief Celestine Nwafor, said that the office of the president of Balogun Business Association, has no return ticket.
According to him, though the market constitution stated two terms, the gentleman agreement is one term for each president.
He said that those who have tried to breech the agreement had had their fingers badly burnt. He said that while it is true that the crisis in the market has not allowed the incumbent president to give his all, he should not attempt to go for a second term.
Cutix closes 2019 in grand style, decries multiple taxation
David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
Cutix Plc, Nnewi, Anambra State closed the year 2019 with prayers, praises and fanfare as its guests were sumptuously fed to ensure that both body and soul were satisfied at the end-of-year party.
The event which held at Anaedo Social Club of Nigeria Hall, Nnewi attracted the founder of the company, Chief Ajulu Uzodike, all the directors, the Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Ijeoma Oduonye, members of staff, shareholders, customers, friends and well-wishers who traveled from far and wide to be part of the programme.
As part of the items to make the event exciting, there was a choir competition that involved three groups of choriters with beautiful renditions from their different organizations, including the host company called Angelic Voice of Cutix Plc.
At the end of the competition, House of Gold Block Rosary Choir, St John’s Cross, Egbo, Nnewichi won with the highest score of 78 per cent to relegate two others that scored 73 and 69 per cents, respectively.
In his sermon at the event, which he simply called Bible reading, the Parish Priest of All Saints Catholic Parish, Okpuno-Egbu, Umudim, Rev Fr Jude Ezike with a quotation from Genesis, Chapter one, verse one, described Cutix Plc as a co-creator apparently referring to the company’s progress in the manufacturing sector and employment opportunities for many.
Rev Fr Ezike said that the company had been on the right track as it always dedicated some moments at the end of every year to thank God for his blessings and mercy in order to be blessed the more.
The company’s CEO, Mrs Oduonye in an interview told Sunday Sun that the company is doing all it could in the cable industry to have a fair share of the market, describing Cutix as an elephant that could always be clearly seen in the jungle “despite the unfriendly nature of the economy.”
She articulated some of the challenges government should address to enable her company and others in the same circumstance do better. One of them, she said, was multiple taxation which she said people in uniforms imposed on them in the course of transportation.
The CEO complained that most of the time consignments on transit were unduly delayed for days, as these uniformed men including the Customs, she said, demanded and extorted money from conveyors of the materials before they got to their destination points. She explained that her company always paid its duties to the last kobo and never deserved any form of delay or disturbance on the roads.
She noted that some of the time the delay would lead to payment of dumorage, “all these things put together affect our production and increase the production cost of any company that finds itself in that circumstance.”
She, therefore, pleaded with the government to intervene for the right thing to be done.
She also expressed worry that substandard cable products were allowed to flood the Nigerian cable market thereby jeopardizing the efforts of the local manufacturers “like Cutix Plc,” which had always believed in quality products.
Lagos traders lament as new VAT rate, other bank charges take effect
Traders in Lagos State have begun to lament the crippling effect of the seven and half per cent hike in the Value Added Tax and other bank charges in their finances.
According to them, the new rate has increased the price of every of their transactions.
They also said that the Central Bank policy of charging some interests in online transactions over N10,000 is also not helping matters.
They said that the Federal government does not seek the advice of traders who are the cornerstone of the economy before introducing most of the policies.
They complained that such actions are impacting negatively on the economy of the nation, since the bulk of the country`s population are now in the trading community.
Moses Ifejika, a trader at Progressives Traders Association (PTA), Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, most of the polices of the Federal Government is neither helping the economy nor the population. He said that in other climes, government first of all introduces programmes to cushion the effect of proposed policies that are most of the time fashioned for long term.
He pointed out that with the collapse of most companies in the country, the youths are now going into the markets to seek means of livelihood.
He said this has made it imperative for the Federal Government to be consulting the trading community before making policies.
According to him, the main reason the country is not moving forward was because the Federal Government has not made commerce one of priorities of its administration.
“The truth is that no country neglects its commerce and survive. The current Federal Government has sidelined the commercial sector of the nation`s economy. Everywhere in the world, what lifts the economy is commerce and that is the reason China and the United States is at loggerheads. A lot of companies in the country have collapsed while many have relocated to the neighbouring countries that have favourable environmental conditions for growing businesses. The most main objective of any businessman is profit. But here in the country, the policies of the Federal Government instead of creating enabling environment for the commercial sector of the economy to grow, it is crippling the sector with inimical policies,” he said. In his contribution, Hilary Maduagwu in Manailas International Trade Centre (MITC), Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, said that the new hike in VAT has already shot up the cost of their businesses.