Tony John, Port Harcourt
The Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA) has commended the Federal Government for the closure of the country’s borders.
Director General of PHCCIMA, Erasmus Chukunda, disclosed this on Thursday when he spoke at the Institute of Director (IoD) Nigeria, Port Harcourt Zone, Rivers State.
Chukunda, who was the guest speaker and presented a paper on the PHCCIMA, said the border closure has enabled the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN) to compete favourably with others countries.
He noted that a reason for the border closure was due to the influx of unchecked goods into the country which threatened the Nigerian economy.
“The African Free Trade Agreement has been signed. The manufacturing sector is being threatened by the influx of goods from neighbouring countries flocking the Nigerian market unchecked,” Chukunda observed.
The PHCCIMA boss said that Federal Government’s decision to close the borders was in the interest of the business sector and to improve the economy of the country.
He noted that many organisations and businessmen in the country did not know the importance of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, advising investors to take advantage of such government agency’s roles in the development the economy.
“Chamber of Commerce is pioneering expansion of businesses in the country, especially in line with Federal Government policy on diversification,” he said.
He disclosed government’s disbursement of N2.5 billion to improve Small and Medium enterprises (SMEs) in the state.
Speaking further, Chukunda said PHCCIMA members have leveraged on the partnership with Bank of Industry (BoI), Bank of Agriculture (BoA) and other agencies to improve their businesses.
He also disclosed that PHCCIMA was in partnership with government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), to ensure that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is provided for people of the state.
According to him, PHCCIMA has a partnership initiative, targeted at training young entrepreneurs, so as to reduce crime rate in the state.
He disclosed that PHCCIMA has been adjudged the best e-chamber in Nigeria and has received awards as a commendation for its performance.
The Director General said members of the PHCCIMA have been encouraged to diversify into agriculture, adding that reports have shown improved performance by those in the sector.
He made mention of the 2019 PHCCIMA flagship event, the 15th Port Harcourt International Trade Fair, that would take place at the Obi Wali International Conference Centre.
“The emphasis of the international trade fair is to tell the business community that Rivers State is safe for business and to change the ugly narrative,” he said.
According to him, over 200,000 visitors would be expected at the trade fair, counting on the engagement of Rivers youths to reduce the state’s crime wave.
“We believe in the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce and industry that the future of the country is in the hands of the children.”
Earlier in his opening speech, Chairman, Port Harcourt Zone, IoD Nigeria, Chidi Okoroh, said that the meeting was aimed providing a platform for interaction, network and connect.
He urged for support to grow the Port Harcourt IoD to reach the heights expected by its directors.