The Awka Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Mines and Agriculture (AWKACCIMA), has called on the federal and state governments to provide basic infrastructure to reduce the cost of doing business.
Chief Felly-Zontal Akosa, made the call on Thursday at his installation as the ninth president of AWKACIMMA in Awka.
He said the appeal became necessary because optimal operation of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) was the surest way to pull the Nigerian economy out of the woods.
Akosa identified some challenges facing private investors, including power insufficiency, the lack of reticulated water as well as poor road and rail infrastructure.
He urged governments to evolve policies that would support industrial development and create favourable environments for businesses to thrive.
He urged the Federal Government to consider building railways from Onitsha, Anambra, to other points, such as Lagos, Port-Harcourt through Owerri as well as Abakaliki Enugu and Umuahia to open up the Southeast region.
He said his mission was to galvanise the private sector in Awka to create more employment opportunities for the youth.
Akosa urged Gov. Willie Obiano to expedite action on the permanent site of the trade fair complex in Awka, while other stakeholders helped in attracting international attention to the area.
A former Secretary to Anambra State Government, Mr Oseloka Obaze, said government could not build the economy alone hence the need for it to create a good environment for OPS operations.
Obaze, a policy consultant, said the federal and state governments must do all that was necessary to ensure that the OPS operated in the best environment.
He said there was a need to abolish the dual foreign exchange rate which favoured tourists instead of businesses.
He said the state should push for single foreign exchange window so that investors could be protected.
“The organised private sector has the larger responsibility of employment.
“That is why to advance any economy, governments at all levels cannot afford to ignore the OPS, and doing so will be at a great risk.
“We are also aware that those of you in the private sector cannot operate optimally if the enabling environment is not there.
‘’We must begin to operate such that you invest money and get your returns and also develop the society,’’ Obaze said.
The outgoing President of the chamber, Chief Ndubuisi Nwobu, thanked the government of Anambra and members of the chamber for the successes of his tenure.
Nwobu urged the state government to create better operational environment for investors, while members support the new president to succeed.