Trade associations and professionals in Lagos state, have called on both the federal and state governments to drive inclusive growth and good governance that will lead to shared prosperity.
They made the call at the Conference of the Nigeria Trade Associations (CONiTA) 2023, held October 26, 2023, at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, (LCCI) Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.
CONiTA, is an annual conference, a foremost gathering of diverse trade association which seeks to evolve sustainable models and to harness their common potentials to drive enabling policies and recommendations for inclusive growth, good governance and shared prosperity for achieving the Africa Agenda 2063 as well as the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.
The conference is also a platform that gives voice to professional associations, service organizations and artisans operating both at the formal and informal sector, to highlight some of the challenges confronting their profession so that solutions can be proffered for the good of all.
Maltida Ajibola Sipeolu, Governor of the Association of Professional Wedding Engagement Coordinators of Nigeria (APWECON) also known as Alagba Ijoko/Iduro in her presentation expressed her concern on the farm produce and animal stock that are often perished before arrival to the state occasioned by unavoidable delay as a result of bad-road/logistics, thereby causing scarcity and hunger, even as she noted that, this usually impedes economic growth.
Siting a peculiar example, she pointed that, one of the problems that farm produce and livestock farmers are facing is the insensitivity attitude of Nigerians when buying produce.
“The manner at which buyers underprice stocks is very dissuading for entrepreneurship, some of them will be waiting by the side to allow the stock deteriorate so they can bargain for a very ridiculous price, especially food and livestock,” she said.
Uwanni Samson of Lagos Estate Management Associations (LASEMA) charged the national orientation agency (NOA) to strive more in its duties to Nigerians by effectively sensitising the people on their contribution towards nation building if we want an accelerated economic growth and development in modern Nigeria.
For Gbolahan Akinsanya, Executive of the Lagos State Council of Tradesmen and Artisans (LASCOTA), all players in the informal sector should come together as one, unite and work tactically in order to aid economic growth and development.
He stressed that, while expecting the government to cater for the welfare of the citizens and ensure that the economy is business friendly, stakeholders can also look at areas they can contribute to support government action because the good of the nation is the good of all.
On his part, Olajide Hammed, a representative of Lagos State Aluminum Fabrication Association of Nigeria (LASAFA) queried the prevalence of sub-standard goods in the country despite the presence of Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), a situation he said is affecting their business.
Engr. Lukeman Hussein, executive of the Earth Moving Equipment Association, Lagos State Chapter, appreciated the leadership of Lagos State for carrying them along in service, he called on other states and all the three-tiers of government across the country to demonstrate leadership by providing the needed infrastructure to ease the transportation of goods as this is a major factor that ensures condition for acceleration of economic growth that we all crave.
In his paper presentation, Dr. Nelson Obine, Co-Convener and President of the Institute of Trade Association Management said it was imperative for all tiers of government and large corporations to recognize the informal sector as an unequivocal agent for accelerated economic growth and development.
Speaking on the theme: “Prerequisite for Acceleration of Economic Growth and Development in Modern Nigeria,” he sited gift of palliative, ease of transportation by rail across and within some Nigeria states as the major strategy in place for Economic Development.
In his recommendation, he said good governance is imperative, the practice of freedom of association and expression should be in place with adherence to the rule of law to drive industrialization focusing on Small, Micro and Medium Scale Enterprises, stabilize the macroeconomic environment with low inflation, stable exchange rates; reduce the burden of taxes, and fees on stalls and shops on small businesses; use agriculture to achieve food security, create jobs and save foreign exchange for food imports.
Dr. Obine also charged citizens to stop the destruction of government properties so that, such money that the government will devote to replacing the damaged properties can be diverted to other productive venture for the good of the nation at large.
On his part, Taiwo Sowore, National Co-Ordinator of the Association of Computer Engineers & Technicians of Nigeria in a concluding remark advised leaders to build upon the success of past leaders irrespective of the level of leadership both at the public or private space.
CONiTA 2023, which is the 5the edition recorded a huge turnout of participation with representation from various trade associations, professionals from different field and representation from the government.
Co-convener of the conference, Dr. Obine thanked participants for attendance and extended appreciation to all the partners and sponsors who had showed support in making the event a success including Institute of Trade Association Management, First Bank, Guinness Nigeria, and Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc.