By Charles Nwaoguji
The National President of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Hajiya Saratu Iya-Aliyu, has lauded the Federal government for supporting initiatives meant to promote standards of goods and services in the country.
Aliyu, who gave the commendation on Friday in a goodwill message to the ongoing 34th Lagos International Trade Fair.
Aliyu noted that the Federal government had ensured that the right measures and initiatives were put in place to ensure quality standards were met.
She called on relevant authorities, both the States and Federal government to ensure that facilities, infrastructure and structures required to entrench quality standards were provided and maintained.
According to her, this will bring significant improvement to all sectors of the economy, especially the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.
“I, therefore, implore all manufacturers, producers, exporters, ad relevant stakeholders present at the fair, from different sectors of the economy and works of life , to key into this initiative to maintain quality standards in our individual organizations and businesses,” she said.
The NACCIMA boss congratulated the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Gov. for supporting the chamber’s movement and trade fair proper, which promotes private sector growth.
“I applaud the selection of this year’s theme, “Connecting Businesses, Creating Value”
“This theme underscores the importance of relationships and networking among businesses for the purpose of wealth creation.
“The theme also underlines the value of interactions between producers and service providers and the end users.
Speaking on the impact of COVID-19 on businesses, Iya-Aliyu said it had forced business operators to look at new ways of conducting business with the aid of technology.
She commended the efforts of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos, at reducing the impact of the pandemic on both businesses and residents, by ensuring the state maintained its position as the 5th largest economy in Africa.
She urged government to intensify efforts on its ongoing infrastructural developmental projects to ensure profitability of Nigerian businesses in the AfCFTA.
“It has been a very difficult year for the global economy and our country Nigeria; as private sector operators, our businesses have been negatively impacted.
“In addition to this was the ”Endsars” protest and the sad loss of lives and destruction of government and private property.
“In the midst of all these problems, we witnessed the destruction of property and infrastructure in Lagos.
“In this connection, we commend the vision of Lagos State Government to support the SMEs through different strategies such as the Digital Training for SMEs and Lagos State Employment Trust Fund for Small Businesses.
“All of these are steps in the right direction which we hope will also open up opportunities for the youth in the state,” she said.
The NACCIMA president said the LITF had proven to be a veritable platform for customers, investors, businessmen and women to network and expand their enterprises in this geo-business zone, as well as internationally.
She urged participants to take advantage of the Digital Eco-System to participate in the fair following the current realities due to COVID-19.
“As we are all aware, the Lagos International Trade Fair has become a famous annual event which continues to attract participants from home and abroad.
“This year’s fair is unique due to COVID-19 but it is physical and virtual and it provides opportunity for On-line business transactions.
“I also want to call on manufacturers to improve on quality of their goods to enable to them compete internationally and especially within the framework of the AfCFTA where trading is expected to commence in January 2021.
“As the voice of Nigerian business, the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), also calls on the government to intensify efforts on the on-going development of infrastructure in this region.
“The improvement in power, roads, and rail, will significantly improve the businesses in this geo-business zone and the country at large,” she said.