Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
Stakeholders including government functionaries, the academia, students, professional associations, the media among others, yesterday, asked the Federal Government to provide an enabling environment for private sector to thrive.
The call was made at an event organized by Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, (ONICCIMA) as part of its annual public lecture tagged: the Perspective.
It held at Archbishop C. J. Patterson Auditorium, All Saint’s Cathedral, Onitsha, Anambra State.
Former PDP governorship candidate in Anambra State, Mr Valentine Ozigbo, who chaired the occasion, observed that meaningful discussions as dialogue or trialogue should be guided by emotional intelligence to understand the perspective of the other parties, especially in seeking for solutions to Nigeria’s economic woes.
In a remark, the President of ONICCIMA, Chief Kevin Obieri, stated that Anambra State is the only State that has three functional city chambers with three major business cities at Onitsha, Nnewi and Awka, and called on the state government to leverage on that unique structure to fast track the development of the State.
In their submissions during the trialogue, the lead discussant, Prof Pat Utomi, who is the CEO of Centre for Values in Leadership stressed that the private sector is the engine room for development, while the government which represents the public sector should provide the enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.
Prof Utomi decried continuous dominance of government with excessive regulations that leave businesses wobbling, and proposed for an active collaboration of the public and private sectors to achieve development.
The Consultant, South-East Manufacturers Association, Mrs Ijeoma Ezeaso; the MD, Tiger Foods Ltd, Mr Don Ebubogu; and a Director at UNIZIK Business School, Dr Kalu Peters; in their separate contributions noted that good governance has a lot to do with the survival of the private sector, calling for the closure of the gap in public-private sector collaboration, as policies should be people oriented.
They harped on the need for the government to improve the ease of doing business in order to facilitate the transformation of Nigeria from consumption to production economy, pointing out that negligence on the part of government is stalling business growth in Nigeria.
Contributions from the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, represented by Chief Mrs Azuka Enemuo; the Commissioner for Budget and planning, Mrs Chiamaka Nnake; and the Commissioner for Trade and Commerce, Dr Obinna Ngonadi; centred on how to show greater commitment in interfacing with critical stakeholders to restore Onitsha as the hub of business in Nigeria.