The New Partnership for Africa’s Development, (NEPAD) Nigeria, and the NEPAD Business Group, Nigeria(NBGN),have began plans to form a strategic partnership to address issues of jobs and wealth creation, poverty alleviation and the overall socio-economic advancement of Nigeria in line with the economic focus of the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration.The move was sequel to the recent meeting between the two bodies in Lagos, during a courtesy visit of Nepad National Coordinator/CEO, Princess Gloria Akobundu, to Dr. (Mrs) Nike Akande, CON, Chairman NEPAD Business Group Nigeria at the Association’s National Secretariat in Victoria Island.
Dr Akande had noted that the interraction by the two bodies would enhance realisation of NEPAD initiatives for the special benefit of the private sector in jobs and wealth creation for socio-economic growth in the country. She noted that it will also help to achieve the much-needed Government support for businesses with regards to the enthroning of a conducive business environment and bringing about enabling laws and policies that would make for better results in the area.
Speaking further, Dr. Akande, who enumerated the many achievements of the NEPAD Business Group Nigeria since its inauguration in 2004 in the areas of advocacy and awareness creation on the Group’s mandate, said the Organisation recognised the importance and criticality of NEPAD Nigeria to their purpose and focus and was, therefore, out to deepen their relationship with the Agency in the areas of programme conceptualisation and execution. She further solicited the support of NEPAD Nigeria for their many initiatives that support the growth, development and promotion of businesses and the private sector as a whole in the country; initiatives, which she noted, were a continuous struggle that her group was ready to carry on until the atmosphere ideal and fair for businesses and business people in Nigeria was realised.
Outlying the activities and programmes of the NBGN, which she informed, were geared towards broadening the main focus of the Organisation, the former Minister of Commerce and Industry, who equally is the President,Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), told her guest that the focus of her Group was on adding value to their members and their businesses through the promotion of new businesses and the expansion of existing ones. This, she said ,was in order to facilitate the realisation of goals set out in their Graduates’ Employability Improvement and Development Initiatives (GEIDI), a programme through which they hoped to equip unemployed Nigerian graduates with vocational skills for employability and self a sustenance; the Nigerian Rice Investment Forum series, a capacity enhancement training for rural actors in the Nigerian rice value chain; training/ workshop for SMEs in the export sector and other initiatives.
While requesting technical and financial support for the above activities and programmes, Dr. Akande, equally, called on NEPAD Nigeria CEO to carry their Group along in the activities and programmes of the Agency,both at the national and international levels, emphasising the need for the Agency to support their Group to realise the ambition of acquiring land for their Secretariats in both Abuja and Lagos.
In her response, the National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer, NEPAD Nigeria, Princess Gloria Akobundu, who noted the exemplary leadership style of Dr. Akande and her untiring sacrifices to Nigeria, applauded her achievements as a role- model figure for people like her, stressing that she had, indeed, come to thank her for her passion and the pace she had set in her endeavours in NEPAD. The NEPAD Nigeria boss promised to review the requests of the Group and to partner with them in her efforts, which are aimed to reposition NEPAD Nigeria in line with the vision of NEPAD’s founding fathers and the pro-people socio-economic programmes of President Buhari Administration.
A number of foremost industrialists, public-sector investors and economic experts participated in the programme. They all bared their minds on the critical need for a strong partnership between NEPAD Nigeria and the NEPAD Business Group, Nigeria.
July 24, 2017