By Henry Uche, Lagos
The Nigerian-American Chambers of Commerce (NACC) has urged the federal government of Nigeria and state governors to pay greater attention to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as a way of reviving the economy from the shock of the global pandemic.
The new National President of the chamber, Dame Adebola Williams, who made this known at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), said it is ideal for the government to redirect its energy towards ameliorating the plight of citizens by reviewing its laws, policies and programmes to enable MSMEs to thrive as it is obtained in other climes.
Williams who is the second female National President of NACC also promised its members of better programs, advocacies and collaborations to position them strategically to explore bilateral business opportunities between the two countries.
‘Leaders of thought in the world are brainstorming conscientiously on how to cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic in their respective countries. By order of importance, the priority of this administration should be to swiftly resuscitate the economy first and not otherwise.
‘So government should give MSMEs and the private sector due attention as the powerhouse of any economy. To our members, we shall circumspect the terrain and come up with programs, advocacies and collaboration with the government to make our members and their products stand out in the international market.’
The NACC National President assured that her administration would strive to boost trade volume and value between American and Nigeria.
‘America is among the top business partners with Nigeria, thus we shall package ourselves for better business opportunities ahead,’ she maintained.
She added that her team would kick off by fix the damage done by the global pandemic particularly financial damage, noting that ‘the pandemic has done some havoc on the activities of the Chamber, so we would start off by trying to repair some damages largely financial caused by the pandemic. Work to block the gaps, resume something physically to close the gaps.
‘As a new team, we shall not rush, but would study the policies and understand how they line up with what the Government is doing and then react accordingly. Corporate organisations need to recoup especially MSMEs, so government should do everything possible to better the lots of MSMEs in Nigeria as it is exigent.’
On his part, the former National President of the chamber, Otunba Oluwatoyin Akomolafe, charged his successor to render selfless and sacrificial service to the chamber and ensure that there is the unity of purpose among members.
‘My administration had unprecedented challenges, but we kept the faith, we covered some grounds and we finish strong. So I charge Mrs Williams to remain undaunted and work hand in glove with every relevant person and group to facilitate a seamless trade relationship between Nigeria and America.
‘As for me, I will take the back seat and offer candid advice when and where necessary. Every bilateral Chamber of Commerce between Nigeria and other countries need to roll up their sleeves and begin to think strategically to boost trade volume and returns with “export” in focus to grow the Nigerian economy,’ he stressed.