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NACCIMA boss, Udeagbala wants govt to domesticate AfCFTA to boost OPS

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NACCIMA National President, Ide Udeagbala

The new national president of the National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), John Ide Udeagbala, has called on the Federal Government to domesticate the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) to promote the nation’s private sector.

Udeagbala, who spoke during his investiture in Aba, Abia State, at the weekend, as the 21st president of the association, recalled that the implementation of AfCFTA agreement commenced in January 2021 as a giant step by Africa expected to lead to the creation of the largest trading area of 55 countries, and which will unite over 1.5 billion people with a prospective gross domestic product (GDP) of about $3 trillion.

He said: “This is a giant leap towards increasing intra-African trade and creating collective wealth. It is also a bold step to take Africans out of poverty. This is why we have focused on it at this conference. We are delighted at the work of the National Action Committee on AfCFTA since its establishment and have been part of its sensitisation activities, through the NACCIMA committee on AfCFTA.”

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In his inaugural remarks, Udeagbala promised to follow through with the records of his predecessors and sustain NACCIMA’s legacy by providing creative ways to support the business community and facilitate real-time measures and innovations in favour of businesses.

According to him, “As the voice of Nigerian businesses, NACCIMA will deepen its engagement with government, the Organised Private Sector (OPS) and other stakeholders through advocacy and various platforms that will further strengthen the association’s capacity to influence policies and decisions in favour of business.

“From its inception and records of contributions as the premier National Chambers of Commerce, NACCIMA has proven to be the voice of Nigerian business for over 60 years. There are, however, challenges before the new leadership as the world still contends with the dreadful COVID-19 pandemic. As the challenges of the pandemic evolve, the Chamber has an opportunity to further serve and help reposition the conduct of business transactions in the country in our quest for economic recovery.”

Speaking earlier, Hajiya Saratu Iya Aliyu, immediate past national president of NACCIMA, said the role of the organised private sector in achieving sustainable and inclusive economic growth and development will be better enhanced through AfCFTA.

“NACCIMA, on its part as the umbrella body for all city, state, regional, bilateral, multilateral chambers of commerce, including business and professional associations in Nigeria, is willing and eager to partner all stakeholders to ensure private sector operators contribute effectively towards transforming the country’s economy,” she said.

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