Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State, Chief Uche Nnaji has promised to end multiple taxation if elected.
He said in Enugu on Friday at a town hall meeting with the business community in Enugu State that multiple taxes were impeding businesses in the state.
Nnaji, a businessman said the need to return Enugu State to its glorious years as the third best in the country was one the factors that motivated him to join the governorship race.
He noted that bad governance over the years had meant that monies misappropriated had brought about underdevelopment.
Nnaji said he had visited 500 churches and more than 400 communities in the state to interact with the electorate to establish their needs since he has no Godfather.
He urged the organised private sector to support him to ensure that multiple taxations became a thing of the past.
He also noted that unemployment rate in Enugu State stood at 53 per cent while underemployment stood at about 21 per cent.
Nnaji said he would focus on agriculture-based industries, massive structural transformation, and the establishment of a development bank among other novelties.
“I will dedicate 10,000 hectares of land for unemployed youths and give them start up grants to begin their own businesses.
“If I emerge as governor of Enugu State, I will bring water scarcity to an end,’’ he said.
Nnaji thanked the Enugu Chamber of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), organiser of the town hall meeting for the privilege to speak with the Enugu business community.
In his remarks, President of ECCIMA, Mr Jasper Nduagwuike, said the town hall meeting afforded the APC gubernatorial candidate an opportunity to interact with business owners and with professional groups.
Nduagwuike noted that the engagement would allay the fears of the business community on how the APC governorship candidate would address its concerns if elected.
He appealed to Nnaji to ensure a turnaround in the ease of doing business in Enugu State, saying it had not been rosy.
Chairman of the event, Rev. Ugo Chima, commended the APC candidate for interacting with business owners and with professional groups, and urged him to sustain the engagement, when elected.
He asked Nnaji to partner with the organised private sector, including business owners, considering their roles in economic development and in job creation.
Dangote Fertilizer Limited has announced plans to train more than a million farmers over the next three years to improve the agricultural sector and create jobs.
Mr. Uchenna Nwankwo, Deputy Sales Director of Dangote Fertilizer Ltd., made this known in a statement on Sunday from the ongoing Enugu International Fair.
Nwankwo said the training, which is part of the company's agricultural extension services, will include spot demonstrations, result demonstrations, field demonstrations and soil sample collection.
He added that the exercise was designed to educate farmers on best practices in fertilizer application.
It revealed that free samples of the fertilizers would be used in field demonstrations, while the results would be collected at the end of the farming season.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), Mr. Jasper Nduagwuike, praised Dangote Industries Limited for sponsoring the Enugu International Trade Fair.
He said that the activities of the indigenous conglomerates are having a great impact on the economic development of the country.
Nduagwuike praised the company for changing Nigeria's economy from consuming to producing articles, fertilizers and other products.
“ECCIMA hopes that other companies emulate Dangote industries because that is the only way to change the course of this economy.
“I challenge Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to understand that Industrias Dangote was once an SME but with hard work, resilience and determination, today it is a conglomerate.
“ECCIMA's deep gratitude to Dangote industries for being part of the sponsorship of the fair and this relationship will continue and for us it is still creation day tomorrow”, he said.
Dangote Cement Regional Sales Director, Southeast, Mr. Abayomi Shittu, said that the Dangote Group's interest was in supporting the government in creating jobs and reducing poverty in the country.
He noted that the company, through its job creation mechanism, had become the second largest employer of labor in the country outside of the government.
Shittu stated that the President of Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote, was passionate about promoting the activities of the Chambers of Commerce and Industries across the country.
“He is interested in the activities of all the major Nigerian Chambers of Commerce and Industries, hence our participation in trade fairs organized by the Enugu, Abuja, Ogun, Kaduna and Kano Chambers of Commerce and Industries.
“Our participation in all major trade shows in the country is a means of demonstrating our belief that Chambers of Commerce and Industry are uniquely positioned to drive economic development through their activities.
“Our expectation is that this trade show will further expand awareness of our innovative products, generate sales, gain potential buyers, enhance the image of our brands and open new markets that will further translate into job creation,” he said.( ) (
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has disbursed N948 billion to 4,478,381 small farmers under the Anchor Borrower Program (ABP) across the country.
CBN Corporate Communications Department Director Mr. Osita Nwanisobi revealed this on Friday in Enugu during the ongoing Enugu International Trade Fair.
The Nigerian News Agency reports that the ABP is an agricultural loan scheme launched in 2015 by the Government through the CBN.
The main objective of the program is to boost agricultural yields, stop large volumes of food imports and address the negative trade balance.
Meanwhile, Nwanisobi said that small farmers who benefited from the scheme cultivated 5.2 million hectares of farmland across the country, thus creating more than 12.5 million direct and indirect jobs.
Under the CBN Specific Line of Credit designed to cushion the effect of the Coronavirus pandemic, the director said that the main bank had disbursed N368.79 billion to 778,000 beneficiaries.
He said that the beneficiaries were 648,052 households and about 130,000 Small and Medium Enterprises.
“Specifically, the bank disbursed N1.452 trillion on 337 large real sector projects in agriculture, manufacturing, services and mining under the Real Sector Support Service (RSSF),” it said.
Nwanisobi said the CBN did this through its development role enshrined in the CBN Act of 2007 (as amended) which drove policy and financial support for some 40 interventions.
He said that the interventions were implemented through the initiatives of the bank's development office.
He mentioned some of the initiatives to include the RSSF, the Investment Regime in Agribusiness/Small and Medium Enterprises and the Non-Oil Export Stimulus Facility, among others.
Earlier, the chairman of the Enugu Chamber of Commerce for Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), Mr. Jasper Nduagwuike, applauded the CBN for its various intervention efforts.
Nduagwuike urged the CBN to redouble its efforts in banking supervision.
“There must be a way that the CBN will control the activities of the fraudsters in the official circle.
“Ponzi schemes seem to have a way of circumventing the organization until it has done enormous official damage to people and the economy,” he said.
The president of ECCIMA said that ECCIMA was proud to be associated with the bank.
The Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA) on Tuesday inaugurated a planning committee for the 32nd Enugu International Trade Fair with a commitment to deepen the economy of the south-eastern part of the country..
Inaugurating the committee, the First Vice President of ECCIMA, Mr Jasper Nduagwuike, urged its members to produce ideas that would improve the conduct of the fair held annually.
Nduagwuike said it was necessary to start preparations for the fair, which holds in March 2021 in good time, for a successful outing.
He noted that the Enugu International Trade Fair is one of the high points of economic activities in the southeast region and added that the chamber hoped that the COVID-19 pandemic would have been successfully contained before the year 2021 in order to ensure a hitch-free outing.
“Our understanding of the economy is that it may not be in our best interest to have a wholly virtual trade fair,” he explained.
Nduagwuike said that the chamber would leverage on the lessons from previous fairs to make the 32nd edition the most successful.
“By then we would have learnt from their experiences to ensure we conduct ours in the best way possible. We will do everything to improve on what we had during the 31st edition of the fair,’’ he said.
Nduagwuike added that the chamber was doing everything possible to improve on the participation of state governments in the zone in the trade fairs.
“We want the 32nd Enugu International Trade Fair to be the most improved trade fair that will hold in Nigeria within this period,’’ he said.
He expressed confidence that the avowed commitment of the Enugu State Government to improve on the business environment in the state would be an added advantage to a successful outing.
Nduagwuike, however, appealed to the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investments to make good its promise of developing the permanent trade fair complex in the state.
“We have been making this appeal in the last 31 years and I have no doubt that something would have started at the permanent complex before the next trade fair.
“We have no doubt that the ministry is committed to developing the complex,” Nduagwuike said.
Responding, the Chairman of the planning committee, Mr Nonye Osakwe, said that the committee would do its best to organise a very successful trade fair.
The theme of the 32nd Enugu International Trade Fair is: “Promoting New Technologies, Business Ideas and Development in Nigeria.’’
Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Alli Hakeem
The Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA) has appealed to the Federal Government to accommodate the development of its trade fair complex in the 2021 budget.
The Chairman, ECCIMA Board of Trustees of the chamber, Chief Rob Anwatu made the appeal on Tuesday in Enugu while addressing a delegation from the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
Anwatu, a former president of the chamber, said that it was not fair that the development of the permanent site of the ECCIMA trade fair complex had stalled, while its peers in other regions had been fully developed.
“We have consistently made this request for the past 30 years that Enugu International Trade Fair complex should receive the same attention in terms of infrastructural development as those in Lagos, Kaduna and lately Kano.
He said that work at the complex was abandoned after the Federal Government had completed the perimeter fence.
He said that further development in the complex had been through self-help.
“We are convinced that it is only fair and proper that the complex receives similar attention as the one ones in other regions,” he said.
He said Enugu International Trade Fair served the entire Southeast and South South regions.
He said that the complex needed a 1000 square metres pavilion, 1000 square metres administrative building and 1500 square metres indoor exhibition hall.
“We are not asking for too much as this is nothing compared to what the Federal Government has done in Kaduna and Lagos and lately Kano,” he said.
Anwatu said that ECCIMA was not unmindful of the economic situation in the country, “and that is why our request is modest.
“With these facilities on ground, any discussion with regard to the use of Public Private Partnership to develop the complex will be more acceptable to investors,” he said.
He said that the visit was the first by a delegation from the ministry to the organised private sector in the state.
Responding, the Director of Trade, Alhaji Dauda Mohammed, said that the development of the ECCIMA trade fair complex was at the heart of the ministry.
Mohammed said that work would soon start in the complex, adding that it would no longer be business as usual.
The leader of the delegation said that their hope was to include continuation of work in the complex in the 2021 national budget.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the visit of the ministry officials will feature a tour of the trade fair complex, tour of industries in Enugu as well as interaction with captains of industries in the state.
Edited By: Grace Yussuf
The Enugu State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA) on Monday donated palliative items worth N4million to the Enugu State Government to ease sufferings brought about by COVID-19.
He said that COVID-19 had affected livelihoods adversely ,hence, the gesture.
” We want to support the state government with these items in its fight against COVID-19.
” This is our little contribution to what the state government is doing to assist the most vulnerable victims of the pandemic, ” Nduagwuike said.
Nduagwuike said that ECCIMA deemed it necessary to contribute to the state government’s fight against the pandemic and provide succour to vulnerable residents of the state.
In her response, the deputy governor, Mrs Cecelia Ezeilo,
thanked ECCIMA and promised that the items would be distributed to the targeted people.
Those present at the presentation are the ECCIMA Director-General (DG), Mr Henry Awureagu and other members.
Also, the Leader of the Enugu State House of Assembly, Mr Ikechukwu Ezeugwu; the Commissioner for Transport, Mr Matthias Ekweremadu; the Commissioner for Inter Ministerial, Mrs Mabel Agbi, were also present.
Similarly, Procter and Gamble Nigeria Limited , a detergent manufacturing company based in Lagos, donated bags of soap and 90kg detergent to frontline workers in Enugu.
Handing over the palliative to the deputy governor, an aide to the governor,Mr Ikenna Nwodo,who facilitated the palliatives, said that the items were meant for the most frontline workers in the state.
Nwodo said that the palliative included 4,000 bags of soap and 3,000 bags of 90kg of Ariel detergent.
He added that the detergent was for COVID-19 frontline workers to ensure they wash their hands regularly to ensure their safety.
In her words, Ezeilo appreciated the gesture and promised the company that the items would be shared to the targeted people.
” We appreciate you for your donations ,we promise that all the items will reach the people they are meant for, ” she said.
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is soliciting the support of the private sector to end open defecation in the territory, FCT Minister Mohammed Bello has said.
Bello said this on Friday during the FCT Special Day at the ongoing Enugu International Trade Fair.
The minister, who was represented by the Head, Business in FCT, Mrs Ikwubiela Adom, said that the FCT administration was focused on making the area clean and healthy through increased waste management strategy.
Bello said that the administration had the commitment to eradicate open defecation thus, inviting the support of the private sector to achieve that.
He said that the strides in the provision of infrastructure had made the FCT one of the safest and most secure investment destinations in the country.
“The FCT is investing in the provision of further infrastructure such as link roads between the urban and rural centres of the territory.
“We have also intensified efforts in ensuring easy vehicular movement within the territory through the introduction of planned bus routes.
“This is an area we are soliciting private investors to complement us,” he said.
Bello said that the industrialisation of the country could not be achieved through a mono-economy adding that the administration was making efforts to diversify the FCT economy.
“This includes the opening up of new districts with the attendant infrastructural development in districts of phases three and four of the FCT.
“We have ensured that roads into the Area Councils are maintained for seamless movement of farm produce, goods and services,” he said.
Bello said that the FCT would continue to collaborate with the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA) through participation in the annual fair.
Earlier, the President of ECCIMA, Mr Emeka Nwandu, said that the participation of the FCT in the fair would provide opportunities for investors in the South East to get the necessary information about the area.
Nwandu said that such information would ensure that investors from the zone followed due process and guidelines in their investment drives, especially in land acquisition for property development and others.
The president said that the participation of the FCT in the trade fair was reassuring and would need to be sustained.
Edited By: Olawunmi Ashafa/Donald Ugwu
The National Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has warned members of the public to stop patronising wonder banks that are offering mouth-watering interest rates.
The Managing Director of the Corporation, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, gave the warning at the ongoing 31st Enugu International Trade Fair in Enugu on Wednesday.
Ibrahim said the wonder banks were offering attractive interest rates just to dupe unsuspected people of their hard-earned income.
The managing director was represented by the South-East Zonal Comptroller of the corporation, Mr Veronica Ogbo-Ikwue.
He said that the wonder banks were neither licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) nor were they under the NDIC deposit insurance scheme.
Ibrahim advised people to rather patronise insured banking institution that displays the NDIC sticker in their banking premises.
She said that NDIC would continue to protect depositors through prompt operational responses to novel developments in the banking system as they evolve.
“People should desist from keeping their monies in homes or shops to avoid the dangers of fire, theft, armed robbery, flood or other forms of losses.
“The public policy objective of the corporation is to protect depositors of licensed banks as well as promoting public confidence in the financial system.
“The objective is derived from the NDIC mandate of deposit guarantee, bank supervision, distress resolution and bank liquidation.
“Since its establishment, over 30 years ago, the corporation had recorded numerous achievements in the discharge of its mandates.
“The NDIC has fully paid all the depositors of the 18 closed deposit money banks all their monies both insured and uninsured that were trapped in such banks,’’ Ibrahim said.
He said that the corporation had developed a framework for the extension of deposit insurance cover to the tune of N500,000 per depositor for depositors in banks.
“The NDIC, like other critical participants in the financial system, is fully aware of its obligations towards the fulfilment of the federal government’s policies on the growth and development of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
“We are aware the SMEs remain the major catalysts for employment generation and poverty alleviation.
“The middle class and small businesses will require safe and secured access to financial services.’’
In an address, the ECCIMA President, Mr Emeka Nwandu congratulated NDIC for the role it played towards building the confidence of bank depositors, which he said, “is helping to grow the Nigerian financial sector’’.
Nwandu encouraged the CBN through its regulatory framework to make the work of NDIC much easier by ensuring that the chances of bank failure were reduced to the barest minimum.
He commended the CBN and NDIC as key players in the financial sector for the stability and near tranquility in the banking sector.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde/Maureen Atuonwu
The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, has urged Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), to take advantage of the Bank of Industry (BoI) single-digital loans to access loans below N10 million.
Mrs Mariam Katagum, Minister of State for the ministry made the call in Enugu on Friday at the opening of the 31stEnugu International Trade Fair.
Katagum said this had become necessary because the loans were accessed without collateral.
“Our SMEs should take advantage of the soft and single-digit loan being offered by the BoI to grow and expand their businesses since the SMEs is the engine of growth of any successful economy,’’ she said.
The minister pledged to assist the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA) to create more awareness and bring more Federal ministries, departments and agencies to exhibit and participate in subsequent fairs.
On the development of the fair permanent site, Katagum said the Federal Government would use Public Private Partnership (PPP) model in the development of the complex.
Katagum explained that it was only PPP model that would assure the facilitation as well as future development and maintenance of the complex.
The minister said that the federal government took its cue from the abandoned Lagos Trade Fair Complex which had fallen into disuse.
“Given the Lagos Trade Fair Complex experience, where the complex is unkempt and unwanted shops rising in the complex and the people abandoning it and having trade fairs at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) in Lagos Island.
“Again, given government scarce resources and a lot of competing demands on it; the PPP becomes the best option for now.
“The ministry needs to meet and discuss with ECCIMA to see how to use PPP model to push the intended work here.
“From the experiences so far, PPP will help to sustain, maintain and see to the functionality of the complex for a very long time,’’ she said.
Earlier, Hajiya Saratu Aliyu, the President of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), commended ECCIMA and the Enugu State government for putting up a successful fair.
Aliyu, who was represented by Mr Ide Udeagbala, first Deputy National President of NACCIMA, called on South-East governors to continue to partner with the Federal Government to ensure even development of the rural areas.
She also urged companies and SMEs to take precautionary stance against the corona virus pandemic by joining the government at all levels to protect their workers and ensure continuous production.
“I enjoin you to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the fair to create national and international linkages and sales for your products and services,’’ she advised.
In a welcome address, President of ECCIMA, Chief Emeka Nwandu, said the fair remained a veritable tool for the advancement of individual, corporate and national business ingenuity.
“I wish all stakeholders particularly exhibitors and participants huge success and realisation of set targets in this fair,’’ Nwandu said.
Nigeria News Agency reports that ECCIMA had scheduled the 31stEnugu International Trade Fair to start from March 13 to March 23 at the Trade-Far Complex, Golf Estate, GRA Enugu.
This year’s fair theme is; “Advancing the Growth of SMEs through Corporate Governance for Rapid Economic Development”’.
Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye/Maureen Atuonwu
Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), says it will provide hand sanitisers and emergency paramedics team at the venue of the 31st Enugu International Trade Fair.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the fair is scheduled to start from March 13 and run through to March 23 at the Trade Fair Complex, Golf Estate, GRA Enugu.
The Director-General of ECCIMA, Mr Nduka Awuregu, told NAN in Enugu on Thursday that the move was to keep the fair venue free from all health challenges especially the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Awuregu said that hand sanitisers would be placed at strategic locations at the fair ground especially at the entrance for all to use.
He noted that as part of overall health security; the chamber had placed a paramedics team that would be on 24-hour alert to attend to any health emergency from exhibitors, participants and shoppers at the fair.
“We have made all arrangements for the fair; not just physical security but health security also.
“We are collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Health and its agencies to ensure that sanitisers are placed in strategic location and having a 24-hour paramedics team,’’ he said.
The chamber’s director-general, however, said that the emergence of COVID-19, had affected the fair already.
Awuregu noted that scores of anticipated Chinese companies and business moguls, who had earlier indicated interest, might not be making it any more due to the virus.
“Some issues had already affected our foreign participants, which is the repairs at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport and emergence of the coronavirus.
“Before now, sometime in 2019, we had a robust discussion and collaboration with the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria on many of their companies to be here.
“However, all hope is not lost. As some of the companies through their Nigerian representatives/agents will still make it to the fair,’’ he added.
NAN reports that this year’s fair theme is; “Advancing the Growth of SMEs through Corporate Governance for Rapid Economic Development.’’
Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Obike Ukoh