ECCIMA holds 48th AGM, elects executives

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Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), on Thursday, held its 48th Annual General Meeting with Jasper Nduagwuike emerging as the new president of the Chamber.

Declaring the event open at the ECCIMA House, Old Trade Fair Complex, Abakiliki road, G R.A, Enugu, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State commended ECCIMA for being a trusted partner to the state government.

Represented by the Deputy Governor, Mrs Cecilia Ezeilo, Ugwuanyi described ECCIMA as a critical partner which has supported the state government in economic transformation.
She said that the AGM would provide council members the opportunity to review the activities of the past years and make projection for the future.
Ezeilo assured the Chamber that ” Enugu state government, under the able leadership of His Excellency, Rt. Hon.(Dr.) Lawrence Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi , considers ECCIMA as a critical partner in the economic development of the state”. This she said, was acheved through consultations, mutual support and assistance of ECCIMA members in government activities.
She pledged continuous support of the state government to ECCIMA.

In his welcome address, the outgoing president of ECCIMA, Sir Emeka Nwandu, commended the Enugu State government in its efforts in ensuring that public servants in the state receive their pay as at when due.” This could be why crime rate in the state is very low as the government of His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has continued to be making funds available through the payments to the public/civil servants”, he said.
Nwandu urged the governor to remain focused and to keep up the good work in the remaining part of his tenure and wished him greater heights in his future political aspirations and endeavours.

The outgoing president said,” Her Excellency, we wish to appreciate the consolidated efforts being made by the Enugu State government to improve the business environment, indeed a lot has been done in this direction.
“ECCIMA would no doubt remain committed in the promotion of business and economic development as well as collaborating with various levels of government in boosting business and investment opportunities in Enugu state. South East and indeed Nigeria.
“Interestingly, our intern international network and global collaboration would be continually and strategically expounded and sustained, all aimed at impacting positively on our business environment.
“Remarkably, today would mark the end of the stewardship of the council, led by my humble self, elected at the 46Th AGM , precisely on January 30,2020.”
Nwandu used the opportunity to draw the attention of the federal government on some issues of economic importance ,saying, “We commend the national assembly for the speedy passage of the 2022 budget of N17.1 trillion.” The Chamber expressed “concern about borrowing of N5 trillion to finance the deficit budget.
“The debt burden on our economy, especially that of the continuous borrowing from the CBN has left our exchange rate on all -time low Effort must be made to save the niara and our economy.

“The Chamber is worried about the federal government plan to introduce N10 per litre tax on all non-alcoholic, carbonated and sweetened beverages through the Finance Act signed into law by President Muhammad Buhari on December 31,2021.
“Sincerely, we think that this tax, if implemented, would be counterproductive as reason stated by the federal government for imposing this tax does not outweigh the unemployment issues it would generate,”Nwandu said.

He added that they support ” the raising revenue for health-related and other critical expenditure as stated by the government and suggests that high import duties should be placed on foreign manufacturered drinks only,
to encourage our local beverage drink manufacturers.”

The Chamber appealed to the Federal government to play with caution on the implementation of the Petroleum Industrial Act(PIA) and the potential removal subsidy planned for this year 2022 to avoid inflationary pressures that could be detrimental to household income considering the slow pace of household income growth in Nigeria since 2015.

In an interview, the newly elected president of ECCIMA, Jasper Nduagwuike, said that the newly elected executive is a new team. “It is a team that will make a difference”
In his words, “This is a new team and I can tell you for sure, a team that would make a difference, a lot of difference.
“One thing that we have discovered is that we don’t have relevance. When they do their own thing ,they don’t talk to us and there are some policies which they don’t even get across to us, before they take decisions Yes government, so we are going to pursue relevance, we are going to pursue feasibility. In order to get this two, we must establish excellence in the Chamber. So, that’s the first thing we would do , we would establish excellence in the Chamber and people would see what we do and now we have known it, they would be able to bring us in.and then ,we have relevance”, Nduagwuike said.

Earlier in his opening remarks, the Director General of ECCIMA, Engr. Henry Awuregu commended Enugu State government for its support to ECCIMA , for the bus the state government donated to the Chamber.
He described the AGM was a special one. The AGM had three sections, the opening ceremony, , ordinary business and the special business ,which included discussions and adoption of reports , dissolution of Council, presentation of candidates for election and the election.

The Commissioner for Environment, Chijioke Edeoga, and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Dr. Godwin Anigbo, in their Goodwill nessages
thanked ECCIMA for its partnership and support to the State government during the COVID-19 outbreak

The newly elected executives included Nduagwuike, president, Vice president Treasury, Eric Chime, other Vice presidents are Nonye Osakwe, Emma Nwamkpa, Jasper Onyeka, Engr. Makua Udeigwe and LCK Ugwu. Council members are Gozie Okoye and Elder Onyemuru among others
Dignitaries that witnessed the occasion included the Chairman ECCIMA Board of Trustees, Sir Rob Awatu, Comptroller, Nigerian Customs Services,Enugu Command, M.I.Baya represented by Deputy Comptroller Leonard Eze past president of ECCIMA,Rev. Pastor Ugochukwu Chime, Executive and council members, among others.

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