IyalodeAlaba Lawson was invested the first female President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, NACCIMA, last weekend in Abeokuta the Ogun State Capital in South West Nigeria.
In her acceptance speech, Iyalode Alaba Lawson, the elected 19th president, said the policy thrust of her administration will be on empowering the informal sector of the Nigerian economy with a special focus on small and medium enterprises (SMES).
The NACCIMA president explained that the development and growth of SMEs can play an important role in turning this situation around. According to her, the policies and programs to support the development of SMEs are therefore a very important part of the government’s programs.
She said agencies and associations such as NACCIMA are needed in creating a better life for citizens and as well as creating a conducive business environment, and assured that under her leadership NACCIMA shall provide a conducive platform needed for businessmen and women to thrive in their chosen ventures.
According to her unemployment is one of the most serious challenges facing Nigeria made worse by the fact that over the last two decades, the formal economy (especially Oil) has experienced a fall in prices on the world market.
Iyalode Alaba said every year; hundreds of thousands of new job seekers, the vast majority of whom are youths join the army of unemployed Nigerians.
Promising to operate an open door policy, she said that NACCIMAwould organize and embark on Trade Missions to different national Chambers of Commerce and business associations to foster robust and beneficial collaboration that will stimulate enterprise development and economic growth in our respective countries.
Iyalode also disclosed the immediate launch of the NACCIMA Youth Groupwith members drawn from the 3 regions West, East and North to create more Youth Entrepreneurs and impact positively in the lives of the Nigeria Youth. She added that NACCIMA Women Group, initiated in 2005 was doing extremely well.
The NACCIMA President said that to emancipate the Nigerian economy, emphasis must be to ensure that Nigeria grows what Nigeria eats. “We must produce what we consume rather than depend on imported materials which slows down our economy and depletesour hard earned foreign reserves,” she added.
Iyalode also commended the Federal Government for what she described as a giant step to strengthen our economy through a proactive foreign exchange policy, in March, 2017, saying that this has helped to strengthen the naira in the forex market.
During the investiture of Iyalode Alaba Lawson as the 19th President of NACCIMA, the Dolapo Osinbajo, wife of the acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, urged Lawson to help develop the girl child and the adult female.
Calling on her to teach other women, especially young girls, how to be accomplished, Mrs Osinbajo, pointed that it took almost 20 years for a woman to become the national president of the association, congratulated the new president and NACCIMA for the landmark achievement.
Also speaking at the investiture, Bola Obasanjo, wife of the former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, described Iyalode Alaba Lawson, the first female President of the NACCIMA as virtuous and industriousness. She advised Lawson to see her new status as another challenge, urging her to change the face of the association as her election has propelled a new mission and vision to the service of humanity and the economy.
Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, Ogun State Commissioner for Commerce representing the State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun described Lawson as a respected businesswoman who had paid her dues in the business of commerce in the country. Amosun, however, charged the new president to come up with innovative ideas to move the chambers forward.
Photograph: IyalodeAlaba Lawson, President NACCIMA