2015 PH Int’l Trade Fair: PHCCIMA President Calls For Diversification Of Nigeria Economy
President of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Emi Membere-Otaji has said dwindling oil revenue accruable to all level of government occasioned by global fall in crude oil price is a wakeup call for diversification of the Nigerian economy.
He said there is need for government and other stakeholders to work closely together, synergize and network so that we begin to realign ourselves for a progressive life beyond oil.
Continuing he said there is an urgent need for the Nigerian government to start looking into diversification of various sectors of the economy so as to attain solid economic growth.
Dr Membere-Otaji who made this assertion during the official opening of the 11th edition of Port Harcourt international trade fair 2015 held at the Liberation stadium in Port Harcourt, said with Nigeria's once large earnings or revenue from the oil sector that is no longer feasible, there is need for diversification of the Nigerian economy thorough decentralization of concentration on mono-crude oil -economy.
He said there is obviously a positive relationship between economic growth in Nigeria and diversification of other sectors. According to him, when there were proper management of human resources, huge investment and concentration on agriculture, Nigerian economy was recorded to be healthy and vibrant.
In those golden years, agriculture offered valuable percentage to Nigeria's teaming population and provided job opportunities, hence the need for diversification cannot be over-emphasized.
Speaking on the trade fair, Dr. Emi Membere-Otaji on behalf of his exco, elected council and thetrade fair organizing committee assured participants and visitors of a new vista and frontiers of economic opportunities. With the theme: HARNESSING THE POTENTIALS OF RIVERS STATE FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT”, he said the theme is apt as part of the focus is to help provide a veritable platform for SME’s and small businesses to thrive and showcase themselves in a broader perspective.
Speaking at the event, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike represented by the Secretary of government Hon.Kenneth Kobani commended the PHCCIMA leadership for its consistency in organizing the annual trade fair.
He said the fair is key to stimulating the local economy and that was why the governor had directed the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority to liaise with the Port-Harcourt Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Mines and Agriculture for the allocation of land for the establishment of a Permanent Site for the Port Harcourt International Trade Fair Complex.
He said government will continue to dish out policies and programmes that will ensure that businesses thrive in the state and assured that the Rivers state government will continue to work closely with the organizations like PHCCIMA to accelerate the economic fortunes of the state.
President of the National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Chief Bassey E.O Edem in his remark congratulated the new PHCCIMA President and the entire2015 trade fair committee for taking the giant step to organize the trade fair despite the economic crunch. He lauded the Wike led government for the pledge of a permanent trade fair complex, expressing hope that he will come back for the official commissioning.
He said the new direction of the federal and state government to tow the line of diversification has become paramount so that they can become an effective player in the global stage. Chief Edem also advocated for a concept where each state of the federation will develop a special product for export instead of over reliance on federal subventions, adding that the private sector must be brought in to support this initiative.