In order to foster a more competitive and productive environment, the Nigeria-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) has asked the government to give infrastructural development and ease of doing business top priority.
At the Chamber’s annual general meeting in 2021, the President, Dame Adebola Williams, gave a performance review and stated that improving the business climate in Nigeria will boost economic growth and fundamentals.
Williams also expressed displeasure over the effect of escalating insecurity on the economy of the country, warning that if the scenario continues, there may be no real progress to be made.
She also pointed out that exchange rates had drastically increased since the Bureau de Change stopped operating in 2021.
She claims that if the government does not make intentional policy changes, this might lead to further instability in the upcoming months as predicted by economists.
She said: “The negative impacts of insecurity on the nation’s economy has been unprecedented, with businesses of the generality of our members, who are largely SMEs, impacted quite significantly. Our government must operate actively. All people are impacted.”
“We need the government to put in place conditions that will ensure that businesses can be done better. So many things are wrong; is it the power supply you want to talk about, is it the deplorable state of the roads, farmers can no longer transport their products from one place to another. Excluding the pandemic, 2021 was herculean for those running a business in Nigeria and particularly challenging, owing to myriad of other reasons, which include nationwide insecurity, banditry and terrorism.”
“We have one of our strongest chapters in Kaduna and everybody is complaining. Look at the people who were attacked on the train six months ago; some of them have not been released. Some could have been our members and it could have happened to any of us. Indeed, the government needs to create a more conducive environment for businesses to thrive,” she said.
Regarding the operations of the Chamber during the review period, the president stated that the NACC has continued to use its numerous programs and initiatives to map out the nation’s economic progress.
She referred to the chamber’s Project 13-13-13 initiative, which consists of 13 strategic objectives, 13 economic initiatives, and 13 administrative initiatives. She noted that the implementation of these programs would help the chamber reach new heights and improve its level of international competitiveness.
Williams also said that the chamber and the American Consulate in Lagos are collaborating closely on matters relating to the country’s economic development.
She said that more chapters could be established in the US before the present executive’s term ends, saying that the Chamber has reached an agreement to streamline its chapters to make them more functional and provide better and quality service to its members this year.
The chamber reported total revenues of N35.2 million compared to N35.8 million for the same time in 2020, while total expenses were N39.1 million, which was less than the N40.4 million reported for the same period in 2020.