By Efa Sunday and Rose Ofem
The Calabar Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (CALCCIMA) has called on the Government of Cross River State to provide an enabling environment that will ease doing business, so as to foster economic growth and development in the State.
The institution made this submission yesterday at the seventy-sixth Annual General Meeting held at Channel View Hall, Calabar the Cross River State capital.
Flagging open the event, the Chairman of the occasion, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, NDDC Board Chairman who was represented by Dr. Margaret Ndoma Egba reiterated the need for the State to revisit her history book, stating that “Cross River State was once a hub for tourist attraction and investors, and therefore the need to sit down and ruminate on how we got it all wrong is paramount.
“The Chamber was established to coordinate private sector, facilitate business in Calabar and Cross River at large as well as interface with Government.” She said.
She went on to maintain that the theme of the AGM “Repositioning Cross River State for the Future” cannot be overemphasized.
Speaking as a discussant during a session, the Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Hon. John Gaul Lebo stated that it will be difficult to talk about the future when the State itself has a “contrived narrative.”
In his message, the Speaker stated that it is pivotal for the organized private sector to be given a more free hand to operate, maintain that “any economy that most develop is driven by private public partnership, with the private sector being the highest employers of labor. There is urgent need to accept the fact that the private sector should be looked upon to bring about the needed boost that will trigger a corresponding drive in Nigeria.”
He further mentioned that the world has metamorphosed from the industrial revolution age which Africans are still struggling to come out from.
The Chamber through its National President, Mrs. Iyalode Alaba Lawson, represented by Mr. Peter Kayode Bello, called on the Ben Ayade led administration to create enabling environment for businesses to thrive, in order to boost the economy of the State, “which will subsequently have a ripple effect in the Nation’s economy at large.”
She congratulated the outgoing executive members for conducting a successful seventy-sixth Annual General Meeting.
Earlier on his part, the Executive Secretary of the Chamber, Mr. Ken Assim Ittah had explicitly explained how Cross River State has been ranked last on the list for ease of doing business, which once upon a time ranked was State first.
Mr. Ittah lamented the negative effect of multiple taxation going on in the State, and stiff government regulations, stating that these has had effect on the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and “has forced almost all the big businesses out of the State.”
As part of the AGM election was conducted for those to oversee the affairs of the Chamber with Mr. Eta Ndoma Egba as the President, Barrister Effiom Ekong as the Deputy President, Mr. James Alicha as Vice President Manufacturing, Mr. Muyi Ladoja, as Vice President Agriculture, Mr. Iso Bassey as Vice President, Inter- Government Affairs, and a host of others.
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