ByÂ Franklin Alli
National President of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dr. Simon Okolo, has declared that the Association is set to build a two billion naira edifice in Abuja.
Okolo, who gave this hint to Vanguard online, Tuesday, reiterated: â€œMy vision for NACCIMA is to have an Association that is very widespread with large membership and a centralized headquarters at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
â€œThe Abuja office of NACCIMA is to see that all members can attend NACCIMA meetings in Abuja no matter the part of the country they reside.
I will also cherish a situation where the OPS enjoys very cordial relations with the government i.e. a good private sector â€“ government partnership, that sees the private sector as partners in progress and one that is there to help develop the country through employment generation etc.
â€œAt NACCIMA we have put programmes in place to encourage the city/state Chambers of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture to engage in membership drives, this is to make the ideals of NACCIMA known throughout the country as well as articulate the problems of the various business areas for government action.
â€œAlready at the 1st quarterly general meeting of NACCIMA held in Minna â€“ Niger State I unveiled the NACCIMA Abuja building plan while the sod turning of the building project will be performed by myself at the NACCIMA property at Abuja in August of this year to herald the commencement of the building project estimated to gulp a whooping sum of N2 billion.â€
Commenting on the Central Bank of Nigeriaâ€™s recently established N200 billion Small and Medium Enterprises Credit Guarantee Scheme (SMECGS), he lauded CBN for its thoughtfulness to have set aside the N500 billion andÂ N200 billion credit facilities for the industrial sector.
He, however, maintained that the credit scheme might no be able to address the problems of the sector, noting thatÂ as similar policies in the past have failed to achieve the desired objectives due to poor implementation.
â€œNot far in the recent past the economy was divide into several sectors with stipulations regarding the interest rate chargeable and the percentage of a bankâ€™s credit that should be extended to each of the sectors with a deliberate attempt made in the process to promote the growth of the real sectors of manufacturing, Agriculture and mining with penalties for non compliance on banks. It is obvious that these policies did not achieve desired results, otherwise the nationâ€™s economy would not still be suffering from some of the problems and inadequacies that characterized it todayâ€
â€œBecause most of our banks lack in-depth knowledge and expertise of the targeted sectors and largely wary of extending long tenured credit to the real sector, therefore opted to pay the fines for non compliance and that killed the policies,â€ he said.