The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has elected Mr Gabriel Idahosa as President and Chairman of the Council.
Dr Chinyere Almona, Director General, LCCI, made the announcement, during the Chamber’s 135th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday in Lagos.
It was reported that Idahosa’s appointment follows expiration of the tenure of Dr Michael Olawale-Cole, who had been serving since 2021
Almona described the new LCCI president as a distinguished individual with a remarkable track record of leadership, dedication, and commitment to the growth and development of various organisations, particularly in the fields of professional services, trade promotion, and industry.
She said that in the last two years, Idahosa served commendably as the Deputy President of the Chamber.
She noted that his emergence as President of LCCI was in recognition of his contribution and commitment to the ideals of the Chamber’s movement, its public policy advocacy, and the protection of the interests of the Nigerian business community.
“Indeed, we are very pleased as Mr Gabriel Idahosa assumes the role of President of the LCCI.
“As a council member and a key officer of the Chamber, he has brought his extensive knowledge and experience to bear and has provided quality perspectives to deliberations at the Chamber.
“We are confident that his presidency will enhance the Chamber’s role as a leading advocate of best business policy and practice to promote and protect the interest of its members and the business community at large,” she said.
The LCCI Director General revealed that the chamber recorded N646.95 million as revenue for the year 2023, against the N503.87 million of year 2022, translating to an increase of 28.4 per cent.
In his remarks, the outgoing president, Olawale-Cole, urged government to provide the much needed support to enhance the successful takeoff of Dangote refinery.
This, he stated, would reduce importation of refined oil products, address the current pressure on foreign exchange and ensure that the money invested in the building of the refinery does not go to waste.
Olawale-Cole noted that developments in the global and domestic scene significantly impacted world economies, Nigeria inclusive, even as the country continued to battle record high inflation rates, high energy costs, and supply chain disruptions.
He said the business environment witnessed some developments that either enabled it or made it more challenging.
He, however, noted that the Nigerian economy continued to recover and maintain a positive growth trend in 2023, at a slow pace.
Olawale-Cole said that LCCI, as the leading advocacy voice of the organised private sector, had remained resolute in promoting investment friendly policies that support private sector development.
“We have been very consistent in our policy advocacy, particularly in protecting the business interests of our members.
“We have also kept our promise of providing quality business development services to our esteemed members and the broader business community,” he said.
He said during his tenure, the Public Affairs and Advocacy Committee under the leadership of Prince Abimbola Olashore, Vice President, LCCI, considered key advocacies and recorded notable achievements.
Olawale-Cole said the chamber noted that only 24 per cent of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Loan was repaid.
He said that the programme was effective but strongly abhorred farmers’ apathy towards loan repayment.
He stated that government’s intervention funds should target organised private sectors that had adequate profiling of members, and by implication, could either guarantee the loan or bring the erring and defaulting members to order.
“Adequate Farmers’ Census that is free of any form of politics is needed and must be updated regularly to prevent future infiltration of beneficiary list with non-farmers’ profile,” he said.
He also stressed the need to discourage exportation of unprocessed minerals which he said should either be exported as semi-finished or finished product.
Olawale-Cole advocated a careful review of the country’s immigration processes to prevent the influx of illegal immigrants into the mining sector in Nigeria.