CONiTA 2021


Nigeria Trade Associations, applauds Government, gives award and enumerate expectations

The 3rd Edition of the annual Conference of Nigeria Trade Associations (CONiTA 2021) held at the LCCI Conference and Exhibition Centre, on Wednesday May 19, 2021 was declared open by a brief prayer. The conference conducted under strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols, with minimal numbers of participants thereafter began with an opening address by Mr. Nelson Obine, the convener who is also the Chief Sustainability Advocate of People Planet and Profit Media. In his welcome speech, he re-echoed the theme of the conference which is ‘Governance and Economic Prosperity in a Pandemic World’ that it was born out of stern desire by a consortium of leaders to lend a voice in the drive for inclusive growth, decent work, shared prosperity and achieving the United Nations sustainable development goals (SDGs) 2030 in Nigeria.

Nelson stressed that Trade Association and across all levels, individually and collectively where possible should open conversations with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and other related agencies and invest in comprehensive preparedness and prevention programme.

In his submission he encouraged public and private institutions to embrace the United Nations eight principles of good governance to ensure sustainable leadership; that to address development challenges, insecurity, scarcity and inflation whether large or small, the world needs to commit to cooperation and coordination both within and between countries; “we must commit to working together for long term, working better and achieving predefined results”, we recognize  our corporate partners; News Express, Economywatch and other media organizations, Guinness Nigeria, Nigeria Breweries,  and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA)  for believing in our mission and throwing-in their in-kind support, we encourage  you for open doors when our call for next edition CONiTA 2022 begins; rest assured we will live up to and surpass your expectations, he said.

Participants took turn to make their presentations with provisions for question and answers across guest and speakers.

Group of Nigeria Trade Associations at the Conference applauds Lagos State Government for the organized training provided for their members, particularly the Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory (LSMTL) and the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), and enumerated their expectations from the federal and state government across the nation. However, they lamented over the government continuous act of not patronizing them and called on the various level of government to patronize their members, especially the artisans and those in the production of consumables and no-consumable items.

Across section of the trade Associations included the Lagos State Block and Concrete Makers/Cement Dealers (LABCOMA); Nigerian Association of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Practitioners (NARAP); Association of Computer Engineers and Technicians of Nigeria (ACETN); Lagos State Asbestos Free Roofing and Ceiling Sheet Dealers Association of Nigeria; Lagos State Association of Embroidery Designers; Lagos State Tailor and Fashion Designer Association of Nigeria (LASTFADAN); and other entrepreneurs.

In attendance was Mr. Babatunde Irukera, Executive Vice-Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) represented by Suzie Onwuka staff of FCCPC; Mrs. Kafayat Adetokunbo Ajenifuja, Permanent Secretary who was represented by Mr. Babawale Thompson-John of the Lagos State Ministry of Wealth Creation & Employment; Mr. Tony Peters management consultant; Mr. Nelson Obine, Convener/Chief Sustainability Advocate, distinguished guest and participants.

While feeding questions from the participants Mr. Thompson-John, a representative from Lagos State Ministry of Wealth Creation & Employment said they have written to Ministries and Agencies to consider patronizing local production, home made goods and services especially those made by artisans. He encouraged them to obtain the necessary licenses, approval and certifications that will position them to compete in the market.

In reaction, the General Manager of the Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA), Mr. Afolabi Solebo,  emphasized the need for industry players to develop and enforce quality standards designed to protect and safeguard the interest of consumers. He said further that “it is only when the public has good health that you can run an economy successfully, hence the agency is beckoning on all stakeholders to key into the driving force of development under the T.H.E.M.E.S. agenda of the Lagos State government instituted by the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration”. 

One of the guest speakers, Mr. Tony Peters, stressed that corporate governance is not strictly for multinationals, big private organizations, public companies. It is a key for start-ups, small and medium firms’ entrepreneurs’ as it is an important foundation for the growth of every business and encouraged participants to seek for professional advice from business incubators or management professionals from time to time.

The keynote speaker Mr. Babatunde Irukera, Executive Vice-Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) in a goodwill message represented by Susie Onwuka congratulated the committee of Conference Nigeria Trade Associations on the successful hosting of her 3rd edition, whose theme underscores the symbiotic relationship between stewardship and the economic well-being of the people. He stated that it is only good governance, both in public and private sectors of the economy, that can guarantee sustainable economic development and prosperity in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, in good times, and in difficult times, those in corporate governance and political leadership must strive to create the enabling environment for citizens to attain their greatest potentials. He affirmed that  the cardinal mandate of the FCCPC is to promote economic efficiency through the maintenance of competitive markets in Nigeria, protection of consumers’ rights and the promotion of their interest and welfare; in order to build a resilient economy for Nigeria in the pandemic world and ensure that the already precarious economic situation is not exploited by unscrupulous businesses, individuals or entities, the Commission undertakes activities to prevent unconscionable business practices with respect to basic safety and personal hygiene products, he said in a conclusion.

The conference came to a climax with an award ceremony in a consensus reached by the organizing Committee; CONiTA 2021. Mr. Babatunde Irukera, Executive Vice-Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), and the Lagos State Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment bagged an Award of Recognition respectively for outstanding dedication and commitment towards inclusive growth, shared prosperity and sustainable development.

The recipients while commending the organizers called on other institutions and individuals to join hands in the drive towards achieving sustainable development goals in Nigeria.

The Conference has held two editions since it started in year 2018 with theme “Harnessing the Power of Trade Associations for Good Governance, Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity”. The theme for 2019 was “Convergence of Informal Sector and Trade Associations for Sustainable Development”, both of them witnessed support and participation from diverse sectors and industry and becoming a voice in the drive for sustainable development.