Ettah hails NBCC for business advocacy, trade promotion
The Group Managing Director/CEO of UACN Plc, Larry Ettah has extolled the Nigerian-British Chamber Of Commerce (NBCC) for advocating sensible policy reforms, promoting trade and investment with the United Kingdom and helping to advance commerce in Nigeria.
The UACN boss who spoke in Lagos at the 40th anniversary lecture and celebrations of the NBCC, said the chamber offered platforms for advocacy, policy articulation, dialogue with government and regulatory agencies, and had helped to sustain the flow of investment into Nigeria economy in spite of significant obstacles.
Ettah said: “The fact that NBCC has survived and indeed thrived through the changing administrations and evolving socio-political and economic transitions in the Nigerian nation is a testament to the vision of its founding fathers and the commitment of its leadership through the years. And today, it remains one of the foremost Business Membership Organisations and bilateral Chambers of Commerce in Nigeria and indeed Africa.
“For us at UAC of Nigeria Plc, our resilience perhaps is rooted in our provenance and a common patrimony with NBCC, a melding of edifying values between Nigeria and United Kingdom business interest. Through the years, we have been guided in our corporate conduct by values of integrity, innovation, customer focus, and respect for individual, teamwork, openness and communication.
These values are part of our British Nigerian DNA. These values have similarly defined NBCC in its 40 years. I commend the past and present leaders of NBCC and its entire membership and I am sure that 40 years from today in 2057, the organisation would still be around and thriving.”
While paying homage to the NBCC, the UACN boss recalled a conversation between two illustrious gentlemen in the person of Sir Adam Thompson, Chairman of the then British Caledonian Airways, and late Chief Henry Fajemirokun, some 42 years ago. This sparked a chain of events leading to the formation of the chamber in 1977, and culminating in the landmark 40th year Anniversary milestone of the NBCC.
Ettah also charged managers of the economy to ignore falling oil price and implement a policy agenda to restructure and diversify the nation’s economy.
The UACN boss said Nigeria must not wait for oil price to rise before taking steps to restructure the economy.
He said: “Nigeria’s party based on oil rents ended in 1980 with the global oil glut as oil prices collapsed from over $40 per barrel to less than $10. The country passed through austerity, import licensing, Structural Adjustment Program (SAP), counter-trade, NEEDS, and now we have an Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
“Today again, as we deal with another oil price decline, with similar economic consequences as the 1980s downturn, Nigeria cannot simply wait again until oil prices rise again. We must implement a policy agenda to restructure and diversify our economy; build an export base, stop government’s reliance on oil to finance its activities and build a productive, competitive domestic economy.”