The newly sworn in President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), John Udeagbala, has said his administration will promote technology and permeate all facets of the Association’s transactions with advanced digital assets to grow manufacturing and enhance economic development.
Udeagbala, who is the 21st president of the body in his acceptance speech, observed that the Fourth Industrial Revolution driven fully by technology is here with us.
“We will integrate technology fully into the activities of the Chamber and also encourage our members to scale up the use of technology and the digitalization process. This is to reposition them for the new Digital Business ecosystem rapidly unfolding before us.” he said.
He said that IT Entrepreneurs, Ezra Olubi and Shola Akinlade, Co-Founder and CEO of Paystack started a FinTech Company that rose to national and international acclaim and the success story of Paystack and Flutterwave, among others, demonstrate the immense possibilities of technology as a tool to promote and expand business and economic opportunities.
“My view is that we should now fully incorporate technology and its possibilities as a strategic plan and area of focus.
“We all know that the world is evolving and it is important that we keep up with evolutionary trends even while maintaining our core values. “
Speaking further he said, “As you know, technology has in recent decades, become the major driver of business across various sectors. It is a multi-billion dollar sector that has created massive opportunities that were not in existence at the formation of NACCIMA and affiliate Chambers. Consequently as part of the goals during my tenure, we shall establish Technology Co-Creation Centres (TCCs) in our Geo-Business Zones.
“They will largely be driven by our young entrepreneurs who we are focused on bringing fully into the Chambers. I believe it is imperative that we embrace this new paradigm and accord it the recognition it deserves. I will shortly be setting up a Committee to review this proposal and recommend to the Chamber the best modality for the actualization and functionality of this new initiative.”
He said that the NACCIMA Youth Entrepreneurs initiative will be actively supported to encourage young people participate in the chamber movement through periodic orientation, mentoring, networking sessions, and linkages.
The president also recognized that its Women’s Wing, NAWORG, has been making steady progress since its establishment in 2005. “Two female members of our Association have in fact served as National Presidents in succession. This is a reflection of our commitment to gender equality and advancement. We will therefore continue to work for the advancement of women and gender equality with NAWORG.” he assured.
Udeagbala, also recognized the opportunities provided by Alternative Dispute Resolution and Business Skills Development, which he said has become an important strategy to resolve trade dispute and impact business and entrepreneurship skills. His administration will pay adequate attention to these areas and it is in this connection that consultations started for an MoU with the Abuja Chambers.
The goal is to adopt the four centres of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, namely: The Policy Advocacy Centre (PAC), Dispute Resolution Centre (DRC), Business Entrepreneurship Skills and Technology Centre (BEST), and the Abuja Trade Centre (ATC) as NACCIMA’s. These centres already have a track record of successful delivery of their various mandates, with international recognition.
He appreciated his predecessor, Hajiya Saratu Iya Aliyu, who has taken the first step when she recently signed the MoU, for the ACCI Dispute Resolution Centre to now be operated as the Nigerian Chamber of Commerce Dispute Resolution Centre (NCCDRC).
These four centres when fully adopted will give NACCIMA the opportunity to deliver on its strategic role of addressing the current realities and challenges to business in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large.
This Udeagbala, said is because issues of capacity building, skills acquisition, policy advocacy and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms are all essential for the growth and development of business at the national and international levels.
“I believe that the four centres of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) identified above, when fully adopted will upscale the activities of NACCIMA. They will also provide the much needed support to the Organised Private Sector and the business community as a whole.
I acknowledge the outstanding efforts of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry in promoting the Chamber movement and lifting the reputation of Chambers of Commerce in Nigeria and West Africa. It is also worthy to take note of ACCI’s constant support to NACCIMA for which I express appreciation to its immediate Past and present Presidents, the Executive Council as well as Management and Staff of the Chamber.”