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OPENING REMARKS BY DR. (MRS.) IJE JIDENMA, F.IoD, PRESIDENT & CHAIRMAN OF THE GOVERNING COUNCIL, INSTITUTE OF DIRECTORS NIGERIA, AT THE BUSINESS LUNCHEON OF IOD NIGERIA PORT HARCOURT BRANCH HELD ON THURSDAY 25TH AUGUST 2022 AT FARRAH COFFEE LOUNGE, PORT HARCOURT.
It is with great pleasure that I join, the Chairman, Mr. Barizaage Adoage Norteh, F.IoD, Chairman, IoD Nigeria Port Harcourt Branch and the Executive Committee of the Branch, to welcome everyone to this Business Luncheon organised by the Port Harcourt Branch of the Institute. This event is in line with the Institute’s mandate of providing a platform for connecting top executives and business leaders to discuss issues that are pertinent to the growth of business in the various sectors of the Nigerian economy.
I, therefore, commend the Chairman of the Branch and members of the Executive Committee for the hard work that has gone into putting this event together.
The theme of this Business Luncheon, “Driving Sustainable Business in The South-South and South-East regions: Issues, Challenges and Solutions”, is very pat and comes at a critical time, when the business environment is quite challenging. It is no gainsaying that many businesses all over the country and indeed in the South-South and South-East zones of Nigeria are going through trying times due to rising inflation and the subsequent increase in production cost.
This is a manifestation of the current global economic crisis, which has been exacerbated by the covid 19 pandemic and its attendant socio-economic challenges and lately the Russian-Ukraine war, which has further deepened the global food and energy crisis that the pandemic had brought about.
Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that there are enormous business opportunities for the private sector in the South-South and South-East regions of Nigeria, especially if a robust Public Private PArtnerhsip is emplaced to annex the potentials. However, the business environment in the regions is faced with lots of challenges, which has led to the collapse of various businesses and/or poor performances, particularly, micro small and medium-scale enterprises (MSME).
Notable challenges facing the region include the dearth of capital to support the growth and expansion of businesses, multiplicity of taxes and levies by the government, insecurity and exuberances of regulatory authorities. The consequence is the high level of poverty and unemployment with extreme inequality and significant economic disparities in most of the states within the region.
I expect, therefore that this forum will provide business leaders with opportunities to discuss, synergise and identify possible ways of driving the business environment within the regions towards a more sustainable trajectory.
On this note, let me welcome and appreciate our guest speaker, Dr. R. Tombari Sibe, a renowned cyber security tech expert with over two decades of professional experience in the information Technology space. I join the entire member sof the Port Harcourt Branch to welcome you and appreciate you for honouring our invitation. We are inspired by the footprint you have made in Nigeria and the global business world.
On behalf of the Governing Council of the Institute of Directors Nigeria, I would like to express our sincere appreciation to all our guests present this morning, you all are most highly welcome.
I believe that our discussion today will open our minds to the potential and opportunities, create new grounds for investment and drive a more conducive business environment for the south-south and South-East regions and the Nigerian economy at large.
Once again, I would like to thank all our distinguished guests for joining us today.
I thank you all for your kind attention.
Dr. (Mrs.) Ije Jidenma, F.IoD
President & Chairman of Council, IoD Nigeria
Thursday, 25th August 2022.