The South East Chamber of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture (SECCIMA) has urged the federal government to create an enabling environment to promote the growth of businesses and economic development across the country.
The former President of the body, Ide Udeagbala, who made the call recently, at Nnewi, Anambra State, at the investiture ceremony of the association's new president, Mr. Humphry Ngonadi, said SECCIMA is a voice of business community of the South Eastern Nigeria.
Udeagbala, who is also the first National Vice President of the Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), stressed that SECCIMA is the voice and the eyes of the business communities in the five south eastern states.
"Chambers of Commerce the world over is unapologetically out to champion the cause of the business communities they represent.
"We therefore have no apology criticising government actions or in-actions affecting our businesses. I encourage the new leadership to speak the feelings and the pains of SECCIMA to the powers that be without fear," he advised.
He pleaded with the new leadership to partner with the south-east governors' forum for the overall economic development of the region and the economic prosperity of the people.
The former SECCIMA boss disclosed that the association recently held the south-east forum with the five governors of the region to champion the course of community policing and the protection of lives and properties in the states.
He noted: "We recently partnered with the five south-east governors to fashion out way to stop heads men from terrorising our region. We shall do whatever within our power to protect our people and our properties from unnecessary attacks."
The top business man appealed to the federal government to provide Independent Power Projects (IPP) to power the business clusters in the region as she has done in Ariaria Market in Aba, Abia State, adding that similar gesture should be extended to other main markets and business clusters in other states of the region.
He appealed to the government to ensure the south-east benefits from the on-going rail projects from Port Harcourt to the northern region.
The former SECCIMA boss called for partnership among the five governors of the region, to develop ports in the region, adding that such initiative would boost economic development of the region.
He also urged the federal government to develop the Enugu International Trade Fair Complex like it did in Lagos and Kaduna respectively.
In his response, Ngonadi promised to continue with the good legacies left behind by the former leadership of the association to bringing all the city chambers of commerce in the south east zone of Nigeria together and establish a strong Organised Private Sector (OPS).