The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has pledged to collaborate with the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, PHCCIMA, to boost Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, in the Niger Delta region.
Speaking during a courtesy call by a delegation from PHCCIMA at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt, the Commission’s Interim Administrator, Dr. Efiong Akwa, noted that SMEs play a critical role in the development of any nation.
He said: “In today’s world, SMEs play critical roles in the development of any economy. For instance, in Italy, SMEs account for about 75 per cent of the total Gross Domestic Product, GDP, of the country, likewise in other jurisdictions.
“We will continue to partner with the PHCCIMA in areas of youth entrepreneurship, capacity building programmes, as well as participation in trade missions for the purpose of building capacity that will boost economic activities.”
“In today’s global world, SMEs play a key role in providing employment. NDDC is a corporate member of the PHCCIMA and I look forward to strengthening our relationship with the PHCCIMA.”
Speaking on the NDDC Microfinance Bank, the Interim Administrator said that the NDDC Microfinance Bank is a Private Limited Liability Company established by the staff of the NDDC. “I urge you to invest in the NDDC Microfinance Bank.”
Akwa assured the PHCCIMA delegation that the NDDC would renew its corporate membership of the PHCCIMA and promised that the Commission would participate in the forthcoming Port Harcourt International Trade Fair in December.
Earlier in his remarks, the President of PHCCIMA, Eze Mike Elechi, noted that the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce was a recognized leader of the private sector and an umbrella to over 20,000 companies in Rivers State.
He said that the Chamber would like to forge a mutually beneficial relationship and partnership with the NDDC to help businesses in the Niger Delta region thrive, PHCCIMA being the South-South Zonal headquarters of the Nigeria Chamber of Commerce.
In his words: “We seek to partner with the NDDC to incubate SMEs in the Niger Delta region as well as partner with the NDDC to tackle youth restiveness by creating gainful entrepreneurship programmes and employment.”
The PHCCIMA President handed over a compendium of programmes outlining the activities and offerings of the Chamber of Commerce to the NDDC Chief Executive Officer.