By Isaac Ojo
The Nnewi Importers Association on Wednesday opened their new office at Motorcycle Spare Parts section of the Nnewi main market.
In his welcome address, the Importers’ chairman, Mr Austin Manuel Jideofo said that the association has been in dire need of a spacious accommodation where they can sit down and articulate issues affecting the members.
Austin Manuel said “as a matter of fact, that the new office was a fulfilment of his administration’s two points agenda”.
He said that the other agenda is to get a brand new vehicle that would be branded in the association’s name, which according to him would gulp a whopping sum of twenty million Naira (N20m).
The chairman of Nnewi Importers Association said that his administration has been helpful in resolving knotty issues affecting the members and their partners in and outside the country.
He also noted that the association is set to have a robust relationship with some banks, Nigeria Shippers’ Council, and other government agencies for the benefit of members.
Mr Austin Manuel urged importers who have not been identifying with the association to turn a leaf as the association would assist only the financial members in time of need.
The member representing Nnewi North, Nnewi South, and Ekwusigo Local Government Areas in the green chamber of the National Assembly, Hon Chris Azubogu who was represented at the commissioning ceremony by Mr Chris Macool said he is always ready to partner with the importers and other business groups in the state.
Also speaking, the former Anambra State Commissioner for Youths and Sport, Hon Ezeakukwu Emma Nsoedo Ph.D (Akuku Nnewi) who represented the General Manager of Anambra State Public Procurement Agency, Hon Ogbuefi Melie Onyejepu at the occasion said that the group as a pressure group should endeavor to partner effectively with government and her agencies. He urged importers to stay strong with the leadership, so that form a positive bond to enhance their ability to benefit from government programs while resisting abuse from corrupt officials that are fond of exploiting business owners.
Hon Nsoedo said that Ogbuefi Melie specially in the effort to checkmate the rampaging gully erosion at Hundred Foot Road in Nnewi which would have adversely affect businesses if left undone.
He said Hon Onyejepu is a banker of high repute who was brought in to play an oversight role by assisting the government to checkmate leakages in the system.
Ogbuefi Melie who is passionate about the welfare of businessmen in the industrial town has always promoted policies that are feared towards both micro and macro economic benefits.
To facilitate structures that promote business activities, Ogbuefi worked hard to articulate reasons that convinced the governor to invest a whopping 4 billion naira towards the 100 Foot rd erosion project. That the 100 Foot road project added value immediately to the central business by lessening gridlock on the road, increase of property value, and enhancement of the general well-being of the people.
Hon Nsoedo said that the GM, Anambra State Public Procurement Agency at a later date would take the importers to the governor, Chief Willie Obiano to discuss and workout modalities to get more government assistance.
First Bank Plc and Nigerian Shippers’ Council made presentations at the occasion on ways the association could leverage on their relationships.