Dream Come True, As NDDC Inaugurates Niger Delta Chamber Of Commerce Board

By Willie Etim

When the idea was first muted, several cynics dismissed it, typical of naysayers in our society.

They thought that all the effort would end in futility. The resilience of Chief Samuel Ogbuku, (PhD), Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), who nurtured the birth of the Niger Delta Chambers of Industry, Trade, Mines and Agriculture (NDCCITMA), came to bear when all other such chambers in the region put up a resistance against the registration of NDCCITMA, a battle that lasted over nine months.

As the initiator and benefactor of the NDCCITMA, the management of the NDDC established a management committee for the chambers to midwife it to a solid take-off point. After the design of an implementation plan which was carefully followed, the committee terminated its engagement and set the stage for the official inauguration of the Chamber’s Board

The eventful registration and inauguration of the Board of the Niger Delta Chambers of Commerce, Industry Trade, Mines and Agriculture, under the Chairmanship of Chief Idaere Gogo Ogan, a renowned economist, is a dream come true.

The NDCCITMA is hundred 100 per cent the initiative of the executive management of NDDC led by Dr Ogbuku, who is driven by the desire to grow the business and commerce in the Niger Delta region.

The Chamber of Commerce is positioned as a tool for development that will encompass the involvement of the very informal sector, artisanal group, and micro, small, medium and right up to mega-scale businesses.

The Chambers is expected to enhance NDDC’s drive to achieve its vision and mission to boost the development of the region through commerce, trade and industry.

The legal framework of the Chambers states clearly that the NCCITMA is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as a company limited by guarantee. By the framework, the company has only one share which is held by the Attorney General of the Federation. All other directors are without shares, thus making it a not-for-profit organization.

Being that chambers of commerce are seen as a community development tool in aid of the government, the involvement of the directors is voluntary and attracts no form of benefit. Members of the board are selected from across the states of the Niger Delta region with contributions from NACCIMA as all chambers of commerce in the country must be registered with NACCIMA.

The vision of NDCCITMA is to build a strong economically sustainable region through a viable business community. The Chambers is committed to providing regional leadership for business growth through adequate networking, education and economic development.

As its objectives, NCCITMA is determined to promote the economic development of members and the Niger Delta region, business network, advocate for the economic interest of members in the region, pursue policies to support business growth and provide educational opportunities for members through seminars, workshops and training.

The chambers will also represent the scope of commercial business in the region in collaboration with other chambers of commerce, create awareness of the business advantages and opportunities within the region and attract investment.

Apart from establishing centres of excellence for capacity development, skills acquisition, trade, and investment promotion directly and in partnership with NDDC, organized private sector, and other government agencies, the chambers will invest. deposit and deal with the monies of the chambers not immediately required in such a manner as may from time to time be determined by the chambers.

The chambers of commerce shall at all times work with the Niger Delta Development Commission through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and agreement in actualizing its set objectives.

The MoU with the Commission is to provide and attract support direction, ideas, resources and growth in the economic, commercial, industrial and agricultural development of the Niger Delta region.

The overall benefits of the Chambers of Commerce for the Niger Delta region are to access a one-stop shop of the Niger Delta business community, provide the Niger Delta people the opportunity to promote their businesses, allow the Commission easy access to partnerships for the development, essay access to data collection for business, capacity and capability.

Chief Samuel Ogbuku at the inauguration of the Board told the chairman and members that the task ahead of them was enormous, noting that the management of the commission trust in their capacity as they were carefully chosen from diverse areas of specialization of with the needed wealth of experience.

He charged the Board to take it as a responsibility to stimulate the economy of the Niger Delta region and make the region prosperous and also ensure that every entrepreneur within the region is registered with the chambers.

He said because the biggest asset they have is the people of the Niger Delta region that such registration will provide a proper database for the development of entrepreneurial activities.

He advised that all the contractors in the NDDC should endeavour to register with the Chamber of Commerce as this will also serve as a guarantee for the operations.

While urging them to disseminate the information for effective registration of every serious person who does business in the region, he admonished them not to let the vision of the board die.

The chairman of the Board Chief Idaere Gogo Ogan, on behalf of the Board, thank the management of the NDDC for allowing them to serve the region.

He assured with the calibre of persons appointed to the Board, he does not doubt that they will deliver to meet the objectives of the Chamber of Commerce.

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