The new leadership of the Kwara Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, KWACCIMA, kicked off the new dispensation with a two-day retreat for the newly elected executive members.
The retreat which critically examined the aims and objectives of the Chamber was an opportunity to set an agenda for the new administration and identify the challenges confronting the organisation.
The newly elected President, Barr. Ronke Adeyemi, said starting on the right note will help to find solutions to identifiable challenges from the inception.
She had in her opening remark, called on executive members to put KWACCIMA’s agenda first before personal interest for the benefit of all members.
Adeyemi highlighted some of the core agenda of the present executive as strengthening the trade groups, bringing more members into the Chamber movement and helping members to access all benefits that come from the private sector joining hands together, presenting a common front and a united voice in overcoming the challenges facing the sector. She said the sector cannot continue to depend on the government for all their needs and that the best way to reduce the dependence is to make private businesses thrive.
She also listed other issues on the agenda of the new administration as the improvement and modernization of the Chamber Secretariat to make it more functional, facilitation of network between inter-related businesses, improved and easier access to funding for businesses and integration of youths into private sector to reduce dependence on the government for employment.
According to her, the priority of members of the new executive should be on what each can contribute to the economic development of Kwara State rather than what personal benefits will be derived as the prosperity of the State is the prosperity of all.
She explained further that KWACCIMA does not pay the EXCO’s any salary, but added that they benefit massively along the way by gaining more exposure, better business connections, deeper business ideas and more administrative skills which they can transfer into the running of their private businesses.
She said, “No one should come with the misconception that he or she is here to earn money, rather focus on the issues the Chamber is facing, how to tackle them, and help people advocate for better working environment.”
The President also advised the Executive Council to look at the government policies that business owners are finding difficult to cope with and table them for deliberation.
“What are the policies affecting businesses in Kwara? Why are businesses thriving better in states like Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Abuja, etc. What are they doing there that we are not doing here (Kwara State)?””
“In relating with the government, we must put ourselves in a respectable position and learn how to generate our own resources rather than heavy dependence on the government. Infact we must put ourselves in a position to be of assistance to the government, that is how we will earn respect.”
She lauded her predecessors in office on the strong foundations already laid including the opening up of trade missions to other countries especially China and promised to build on it by opening more possibilities with more countries for the importation of technology to help improve the businesses of members in the various sectors especially Agriculture and Industry.
The retreat afforded each member of the Exco the opportunity to draw up the work plan for their various trade groups and departments in line with the agenda of the new administration with strong emphasis on creating strong trade groups which will make it easier for members to interact and find solutions to common challenges.