Buhari lauds Abuja Chamber of Commerce for boosting economic diplomacy




President Muhammadu Buhari has lauded the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) for scaling up economic diplomacy and establishing bilateral relations with other countries.

Buhari, represented by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Adeniyi Adebayo, gave the commendation on Friday in Abuja while officially commissioning the Legacy Projects of the ACCI.

Buhari also praised the ACCI for setting the pace, by embarking on activities that created several employment opportunities and expanded businesses, including facilitating delegations from Russia, Vietnam, Turkey, Syria, Malaysia and all West African Countries.

“They have done this effectively by signing friendly business cooperation agreements with other chambers across the globe, as well as establishing bilateral relations with other nations,’’ Buhari said.

He noted that the six-storey state-of-the-art Office Complex, with expansive International Convention Centre, as well as the Business Entrepreneurial Skills and Technology (BEST) Centre were a clear testimony to the visionary leadership of the Chamber.

“My Government has watched with great pleasure the ‘Midas Touch, that Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, the council and management team of ACCI have displayed in operating and managing the chamber which has translated into these legacy projects.

“It is the same energy that has led to the construction of this gigantic complex. I know that a lot of resources and commitment have been channelled toward achieving this.

“I am impressed with the strategy this chamber has used to drive this development. It is momentous in the life of the Nigerian economy as we recommit to deepening relationship with the Organised Private Sector (OPS),” he said.

Buhari said that the facilities were consciously developed in line with the ACCI strategic objective which was to promote Economic Growth and Development in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and across Nigeria.

According to him, the ACCI, under its Dispute Resolution Centre (DRC), remains deeply committed to using arbitration and mediation to address commercial disputes.

He noted that the centre has held workshops on disputes arising from public contracts and has organised capacity building programmes in Alternative Dispute Resolution.

“We are committed to the organisation’s mission and will continue to work closely with its stakeholders in generating the needed synergy required to boost an all-embracing economy,” he said.

Buhari added that the ACCI has equally demonstrated its commitment to skilling, training and capacity building for members and the general public through its BEST centre.

He expressed satisfaction with its Policy Advocacy Centre (PAC) for organising advocacy and round-table on Budgeting Process, Digital Economy and National Livestock Transformation Programme.

Others are Apapa port operations as well as Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises funding mechanisms.

Earlier in an address, President of the ACCI, Adetokunbo Kayode, said that the vision of the chamber was to be leading chamber of commerce in Nigeria and one of the best in Africa.

Kayode said that in 2019, the ACCI, was adjudged one of the best chambers in the world and definitely the best in Africa, in the skills development sector by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), in Rio, Brazil.

According to him, this is possible because it made a development plan which it has faithfully implemented the plan.

“We planned to restructure the chamber to enable it realise its vision. And we did. We now have four Centres: the BEST centre, for skills development; PAC, for policy development and support to government and the economy.

“We also have DRC for alternative disputes resolution: Arbitration, Mediation, conciliation, and negotiation of commercial disputes; and the Abuja Trade Centre (ATC), for trade promotion, trade fairs, trade exposition, information and data.

“Government must plan. Have a vision. Craft a policy and implement the plan with doggedness and with unwavering audacity,’’ Kayode said.

The ACCI President added that by implementing the plan, it has been able to attract many activities and succeeded in deepening the influence of the chamber by boosting businesses of members, and influencing issues and policies in the country.

He urged the government to collaborate with the private sector, adding that government policies, both in crafting and in execution, must emphasise the impact on MSMEs.

The ACCI Office Complex consists of six floors of office space of 800 square metres per floor and fully air conditioned. (NAN)