Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has reaffirmed his administration commitment to creating a business-friendly environment in the state.Governor Ugwuanyi made this known while declaring open the 44th annual general meeting of the Enugu chamber of commerce on Tuesday at ECCIMA Multi-Dimensional Office Complex Abakaliki Road, Enugu.
The governor who was represented by the state commissioner for commerce and industry, Sam Ogbu-Nwobodo disclosed that Enugu has recorded significant improvement in the most competitive state, sustainable state, in physical and fiscal reforms and on ease of doing business among the 36 states across the country.
“We assured of a continued commitment to ensuring that Enugu state continues to be an environment that enables businesses to come in and thrive and an environment that enables the growth of public enterprise through strong regulatory and other governmental public sector support”.
“Enugu is reforming to make businesses more effective. And fortunately, it is being noticed. We are aware that recently Enugu was awarded the fifth most competitive state, awarded the third most sustainable state in terms of physical and fiscal reforms and growth and as awarded the safest state in Nigeria and is also coming up on the ease of doing business”.
Governor Ugwuanyi reiterated his continued support and partnership with ECCIMMA as the “chamber is a veritable partner in progress. It is also at the core of our socio-economic, industrial and commercial development”, Governor Ugwuanyi said.
In a farewell address, the outgoing President, Enugu Chamber of Commerce Ugochukwu Chime who gave an account of his stewardship said ECCIMA has continued to promote business and economic development and collaborate with various levels of government in boosting business and investment opportunities in Enugu state, as well as South East and Nigeria at large.
Chime applauded Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s giant strides in sustaining urban renewal projects and infrastructural development in the state as well as the state government’s efforts in improving the business environment.
“We appreciate the giant strides your government has made in sustaining the urban renewal projects and infrastructural development in Enugu municipality and other parts of the state. Mention must be made of your effort in rural and urban road constructions.”
“Your efforts to enhance the status of Enugu as the rallying point and capital of old eastern Nigeria is noteworthy”.
“Your Excellency, we wish to appreciate the consolidating efforts being made by the Enugu state government to improve the business environment. Indeed a lot has been done in this direction and indeed a lot still needs to be done”.
“Let me use the medium to once more thank our dear Governor, Rt. Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for the support of the Enugu state government to the chamber with the sum of 5million towards the development of the multidimensional building complex of the chamber which was commissioned by him”.
On the Nigerian business environment, Chime said: “The Nigeria business environment still remains very challenging as a lot of gaps especially in the state of infrastructure still exist which hinders the growth of business and economic development in the country’.
‘Our nation is beset with so many challenges which has precipitated the austere measures that has lowered the standard of living of many Nigerians, putting a lot of pressure on the citizens for survival’.
“The federal government benchmark of crude oil price at $45 per barrel of which the 2018 budget was based is quite cautious, as the price of the crude oil in the international market has gone up to about $60.0 within this period. Notwithstanding though, the 2018 budget if well implemented will go a long way to reflect the economy. The worry is that with the politicking for national elections that would soon commence, it is feared that the 2018 budget implementation may poorly implemented”.
“Interestingly, the project oil production of 2.3mn barrels may be realizable with the reduced militancy attack on oil pipelines and production base of oil exploring companies. Efforts to sustain the peace in the Niger Delta and provisions in the 2018 budget for the Ogoni cleanup project would help the efforts towards increasing oil production”.
“Also commendable is government resolve to keep tax revenue from non-oil sector (small and medium enterprises) same as it was in 2017. Government strict compliance to tax remittance by all Nigerians with legal requirement to declare income from all sources is key focus of 2018 and is commendable. Also commendable is the projection of adding us$500 million into the sovereign wealth fund. The capital output for agricultural development is major with high allocation of n118.98 billion to aggravate efforts towards enhancing the agricultural sector”.
“We wish to use this opportunity to once more call for the devolution of political and economic power from the centre to the zones/states”.
“In our efforts to diversify and make our economy to be competitive, there is great need for the federal government to remove certain exclusivity it has on some key areas and sectors and channel such to the concurrent list, where states can be empowered to enrich their economic potentials”.
“For instance, the solid mineral sector, we believe will activate the economy of almost all states in Nigeria, as there is no state in Nigeria that is not endowed with one mineral or the other”.
“May we therefore recall and remind the federal government about the statement of the minister of solid minerals in January 2017 that states were to start taking part in solid mineral policy input and exploitation”.
Speaking, ECCIMA Director-general, Emeka Okereke charged the incoming president and other council members to sustain the successes recorded by the Ugochukwu Chime-led administration.
Meanwhile, Emeka Udeze has been elected as the President of ECCIMA.
Other executive committee members elected include Emeka Nwadu as first deputy president, Chijioke Mbagwu as second Deputy President, Nnayelugo Onyemelukwe as Vice President, Treasury.
Other vice-presidents elected are; Emma Nwankpa, Nonye Osakwe, Jasper Onyeka, Jasper Nduagwuike and Odeiga Jideonwo while Eric Chime and Makuochukwu Udeigwe were also elected as council members.