By Ayo Fadimu
Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, ECCIMA marked the Installation of her 15th President alongside the induction of new members and the bi-annual keyman award to some distinguished and accomplished entrepreneurs and captains of industry at Bon Hotel Sunshine, Enugu.
The outgoing President of the chamber, Pharm Sir Emeka Udeze appreciated the presence and support of the Governor of Enugu State, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Dr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, and other Governors of the South East region who were represented at the event.
Udeze before the end of his tenure led the repositioning process that cleaned up the old administrative system of ECCIMA with the appointment of a new Director General, Henry Nduka Awuregu who also doubles as the Director General of South East Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, SECCIMA. He expressed his fulfillment to have contributed in the history of ECCIMA before the emergence of the new leadership, and said “ I trust their willingness to continue in our strategic efforts towards the repositioning of ECCIMA for greater relevance to Enugu State, South East Region and Nigeria at large.”
The Chairman of the ceremony, Chief Oscar Udoji (Owelle of Ozubulu), in his opening remarks emphasized the need for Nigerians to shun corruption at all level for this country to move forward.
In their separate remarks, the Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Dr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, The Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willy Obiano, ably represented by Hon. Sally Mbanefo and the DG, South East Governors Forum Prof Simon Ortuanya who is also the Secretary to Enugu State Government all extolled the positive impact of ECCIMA to the nation’s economy and expressed their total support for the success of Sir Emeka Nwandu’s tenure.
While presenting the newly elected President, Sir Emeka Nwandu for Installation, The Director General, Henry Nduka-Awuregu described the out-going President Pharm Sir Emeka Udeze as a man who fought a good fight of faith. The DG profiled the new President, Sir Emeka Nwandu as an accomplished leader, philanthropist and an entrepreneur par excellence whose chains of investments cut across the nation and in various sectors including real estate, hospitality, insurance, IT, etc.
The new President was installed alongside other council members including, Barr. Jasper Nduagwuike (1st Deputy President), Sir Odeiga Jideonwo (2nd Deputy President, Sir Chijioke Mbagwu (Honorary Deputy President), Engr. Nnanyelugo Onyemelukwe (V.P. Treasury), Engr. Nonye Osakwe (VP), Dr. Emma Nwankpa (VP), Pharm Sir Jasper Onyeka (VP), Sir Eric Chime (VP), Surveyor L.C.K. Ugwu (Council Member), Mr. Uzo Ozigbo (Council Member), Barr. Gozie Okoye (Council Member), Elder Martin Onyenmuru (Council Member), Chief Mrs Oriyomi Obidigbo (Council Member), Mrs Roseline Egbo (NAWORG Coordinator).
During the installation, The National President of NACCIMA, Hajia Saratu Iya Aliyu who was ably represented by Ide John C. Udeagbala, 1st Deputy President, NACCIMA, expressed her feelings of confidence that during the tenure of Sir. Emeka Nwandu, ECCIMA will record more remarkable success and grow in status to attain more laudable feats.
In his acceptance speech, the new President of ECCIMA, Sir Emeka Nwandu, on behalf of the new Council promised to serve Enugu Chamber of Commerce and by extension, the Enugu business community in promoting advocacies that will advance the economic development of not just Enugu but the entire South East region. He stated: “as the 15th President of ECCIMA, I wish to appreciate His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the Executive Governor of Enugu State and other amiable State Governors of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi and Imo states for the various supports we have enjoyed from the government especially in all our trade fairs… I affirm that we shall work together in repositioning ECCIMA for greater relevance by increasing our visibility and viability by undertaking the following tasks:
- Attracting more foreign trade missions for our members to participate in order to enhance international business relationship.
- Advocating for the Federal Government to complete the development of the Enugu International Trade Fair complex as we increase the scope starting with the forthcoming 31st Enugu International Trade Fair holding from 13th to 23rd March 2020. We will be organizing specialized fairs/exhibitions in various areas such as Automobile, fashion, food etc.
- Completion of the ECCIMA Secretariat complex with landscaping and asphalting of the premises.
- Being the headquarters of South East Chambers of Commerce, we shall work with SECCIMA to attract Igbo sons and daughters to invest at least 10% of their businesses in the south east. At the same time, we will continue to advocate for the Federal Government to improve on the ease of doing business in this region, such as providing for liquefied gas reticulation, reducing the cost of energy, developing our seaports and inland dry ports as well as other enablers such as infrastructure and business friendly policies in all our state governments in the south east region.
We therefore appeal to The Federal Government, our State Governors of the south east region and legislative representatives at all levels to provide the needed political willpower for developing the industrial cum commercial ecosystem of the eastern region.” The new ECCIMA President declared.
Highpoint of the event was a keynote address Mr Peter Obi, former Governor of Anambra State, who commended the success stories of South East entrepreneurs and congratulated Sir Emeka Nwandu for emerging the 15th President of Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA). He lamented on lack of support for local industries and delays, sometimes for years, in the payment to business men, including Small and Medium Enterprises proprietors, for goods supplied to government. Obi said that some of them collapsed due to prolonged debts. The former Anambra governor said that the ugly event needed a legislation that would make it illegal for government to owe contractors beyond 90 days.
“Part of responsibility of governance is good and clear planning that will enable leaders to know their cash flow and what it can or cannot support at all times,” Obi said.
He thanked members of the Chamber movement in Nigeria for being part of the economic growth of Nigeria and encouraged government at all levels to patronise Made-in-Nigeria goods, saying: “As Governor, I bought over 1,000 Innoson vehicles for various uses, because such support usually have domino effect on the economy of the country.”
The bi-annual keyman Awards were later given to Mr. Peter Obi, Chief Leo Stan Ekeh, Sir Rob Anwatu, Chief Allen Onyema, Engr. Arthur Eze, Sir Anthony Enukeme, Dr. Innocent Chukwuma, Dr. Cosmoas Maduka, Dr. Cletus Ibeto, Dr. Sir J.J. Ezeokafor, Surv. Ugo Chime, Dr. Ifeanyi Okoye, Engr. Onuora Nnabugwu, Chief Loretta Aniagolu, Dr. Herbert Wigwe, Dr. Ernest Nnaemeka Azudialu-Obiemesi, Prince Ifeanyi Chike Ezechukwu, Most. Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Chukwuma, Engr. Emeka Nwangele, and all the Past Presidents of ECCIMA who were honoured with awards of excellence in service.
Thirty one (31) new members were later inducted into Enugu Chamber of Commerce, by the Director General, Henry Nduka Awuregu who charged them to always abide by the code of ethics of the chamber.
The event was attended by the President of South East Chambers of Commerce, Mr. Humphrey Ngonadi with other city chamber Presidents from Aba, Umuahia, Awka, Ebonyi, Onitsha, Nnewi, Nsukka and the Immediate Past President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Tony Ejinkonye and a host of other political and corporate LEADERS.