From Godwin Tsa, Abuja

Emeka Obegolu was recently appointed the 12th President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria told Daily Sun  that he is not going to ‘pussyfoot around as he has already mapped out his operational strategies that will spur the economic growth of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and by extension, Nigeria.

But the journey to prosperity is grueling and requires a multi-stakeholder approach.To this end, he has advised policymakers to prioritise policies that promote innovation and entrepreneurship, the twin elements needed to swell Nigeria’s economic fortunes.

He also pushed for policies to boost business operations including taxation and regulatory policies.


As the newly appointed-President of ACCI, my mission is to steer the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry towards becoming a cornerstone of economic development, fostering a dynamic business environment that not only attracts investment but also nurtures local enterprises. To accomplish this, we are deploying a comprehensive strategy that revolves around three key pillars: advocacy, capacity building, and collaboration. Through proactive advocacy efforts, we aim to influence policies that promote ease of doing business and remove regulatory bottlenecks. Additionally, we are committed to enhancing the capacity of our members through tailored training programs and access to resources that empower them to thrive in a competitive market landscape. Lastly, fostering collaboration among stakeholders, both within the private sector and with government entities, is paramount to our success. By forging strategic partnerships, we can amplify our impact and drive sustainable economic growth in Abuja and beyond.

Challenges facing ACCI

The challenges facing ACCI are reflective of the broader economic landscape in Nigeria and include issues such as bureaucratic inefficiencies, inadequate infrastructure, policy inconsistencies, and access to finance, among others. Addressing these challenges will require a concerted effort from both the public and private sectors. Firstly, there is a need for greater collaboration and coordination between government agencies and business chamber like ACCI to streamline regulatory processes, reduce red tape, and improve the ease of doing business. Secondly, there is a pressing need for increased investment in critical infrastructure such as the industrialization of the FCT, power, transportation, and telecommunications to enhance productivity, reduce costs, and improve competitiveness for businesses operating within Abuja and its environs.

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Additionally, policymakers should prioritize policies that promote innovation, entrepreneurship, and access to finance for businesses, which are the backbone of our economy. This includes initiatives to improve access to credit, reduce the cost of borrowing, and provide targeted support to sectors with high growth potential.There is a need for greater policy consistency and predictability to create a conducive business environment that encourages long-term investment and fosters economic growth. This requires ongoing dialogue and engagement between government, business organizations, and other stakeholders to ensure that policies are evidence-based, transparent, and aligned with the needs of the private sector.

Companies shutting down as economy chokes

Indeed, ACCI is deeply concerned about the adverse effects of harsh economic policies and taxation on businesses, which have led to the closure of numerous companies. The cumulative impact of these policies, including high taxation rates, regulatory burdens, and import duties, has placed significant strain on businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs). As a result, many companies are struggling to remain viable, leading to closures and job losses. This trend is alarming and underscores the urgent need for policymakers to reassess and recalibrate economic policies to foster a more conducive business environment. ACCI advocates for a balanced approach to taxation and regulatory policies that promote business growth while ensuring fiscal sustainability. We emphasize the importance of targeted support mechanisms for struggling businesses, such as access to finance and capacity-building initiatives, to mitigate the adverse effects of harsh economic conditions.

Private sector support

Stepping into leadership during a period of significant challenges has necessitated a strategic approach to harnessing the potential of the private sector in addressing national issues. The private sector, being a key driver of economic growth and development, holds immense potential in alleviating some of the pressing issues facing the country. Through innovative solutions, investment initiatives, and collaborative efforts, the private sector can play a pivotal role in addressing challenges such as unemployment, infrastructure deficit, and economic instability.One way in which the private sector can contribute to alleviating these issues is through job creation. By fostering an enabling environment for businesses to thrive, including providing access to finance, improving infrastructure, and implementing supportive policies, the private sector can create employment opportunities across various sectors of the economy. Furthermore, the private sector can contribute to addressing infrastructure challenges by investing in critical sectors such as power, transportation, and telecommunications. Through public-private partnerships (PPPs) and strategic collaborations with government agencies, infrastructure projects can be executed efficiently, leading to improved service delivery and economic productivity. Additionally, the private sector can leverage technology and innovation to enhance efficiency in logistics and supply chain management, thereby reducing costs and improving competitiveness.By leveraging its resources, expertise, and networks, the private sector can complement government efforts and contribute to sustainable development and prosperity.

Grappling with the high cost of raw materials, epileptic power supply, insecurity etc

The prevailing challenges such as the high cost of raw materials, epileptic power supply, insecurity, and the high cost of logistics have significant implications for the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) as a key player in economic growth and trade facilitation. These challenges pose obstacles to business operations, hinder productivity, and impede the growth potential of businesses within the Chamber’s purview.The high cost of raw materials directly affects the cost of production for businesses, making them less competitive in both domestic and international markets. This, coupled with epileptic power supply, exacerbates operational challenges, leading to decreased productivity and increased overhead costs. Insecurity further compounds these challenges by disrupting supply chains, increasing insurance costs, and deterring investment in affected regions.Moreover, the high cost of logistics due to poor infrastructure and bureaucratic bottlenecks affects the Chamber’s role in facilitating trade and commerce. Delays in transportation, clearance processes, and inefficient logistics systems not only increase costs for businesses but also hinder the smooth flow of goods and services, impacting overall economic efficiency and competitiveness.In response to these challenges, the ACCI will adopt a proactive approach by advocating for policy reforms, engaging with relevant stakeholders, and providing support services to its members. Collaborative efforts with government agencies, industry associations, and international partners are essential in addressing infrastructure deficits, enhancing security measures, and streamlining logistics processes. Additionally, we will facilitate capacity building programs, provide market intelligence, and promote innovation to help businesses adapt to the changing landscape and mitigate the impact of these challenges.

Overall, the impact of these challenges on the ACCI underscores the importance of resilience, innovation, and collaborative action in navigating the complex business environment and sustaining economic growth and trade facilitation.