The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has pushed for the full implementation of the Federal Government’s Executive Order 5, specifically the ‘Presidential Executive Order for Planning and Execution of Projects, Promotion of Nigerian Content in Contracts and Science, Engineering and Technology.’
The Chamber, while bemoaning the skills gap in Nigeria, particularly shortage of technical and semi-skilled labour, which is crucial to industry and domestic production, said the full implementation of Executive Order 5, would help promote Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). It would increase the pool of skilled technical workers which the private sector can tap into to improve productivity, it added.
NACCIMA drew attention to Nigeria’s high unemployment rate of 27.1 per cent, saying it was “a reflection of the fact that those who are unemployed lack the skill to fill open job positions”.
It, however, reiterated that “the private sector must play a more important role in policy formulation and various activities of the National Board for Technical Education as it works towards finding enduring solution to the nations technical man power needs.”
This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the fourth Exco and Council Meeting of NACCIMA in Benin, Edo State, the Edo State capital. The meeting was hosted by the Benin Chambers of Commerce and presided over by the NACCIMA National President, Ide J. C Udeagbala. It was attended by representatives from City and State Chambers, Presidents and members of the Executive of the Chambers from parts of the country.
The Chamber also rose from the meeting reaffirming its commitment to promotion of technology application in the conduct of business. For instance, it drew attention to the contribution of technology and telecom sector, which made significant contribution of 14.2 per cent in Q3 2021 to the growth of the economy even in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic.
“Consequently, it was resolved that NACCIMA will pay more attention to the application of technology for the growth of businesses and in the pursuit of its vision to develop Technology Co-creation Centers and Industrial Parks in the three geo business zones. In addition, City and State Chambers will also be supported to key into these initiatives,” the Association said in the communiqué made available to The Nation.
NACCIMA Council also expressed its willingness to work with the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and its agencies such as the National Communication and National Information Technology Development Agencies (NITDA), to key into the National Broad Band Plan in other to take advantage of the digital infrastructure which received a boost with the launch of the 5G network not long ago.
The Council welcomed the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 and stressed that “the Act was a milestone which, if effectively implemented, has the potential to truly reposition the Nigerian oil and gas sector as well as restore the confidence of investors in this key sector of the economy which has, unfortunately, stagnated due to unstable policy environment.”
It was of the view that the segmentation of the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors under the PIA can open a vista of opportunities for the private sector. It, therefore, called for appropriate steps in this regards.
The association also used the occasion of the meeting to express support for the National Gas Expansion Project (NGEP) and welcomed the establishment of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Intervention Fund to stimulate investment in the gas value chain.
The Council, however, called on the CBN to facilitate access to this Facility by the private sector as part of the strategic options for the achievements of the NGEP.