At the 9th Annual Bola Tinubu Colloquium held yesterday, March 28th 2017 at the Conference hall of Eko Hotels and Suites, the Chairman of IVM Innoson Group, Chief Dr Innocent Chukwuma OFR advised young and prospective entrepreneurs and manufacturers not to expect government to give them all enabling environment in starting up their business but that they should learn to do things the hard way. “If you start your factory using the hard way, there is nothing that you see that will discourage you.
For example, when we started our Vehicle manufacturing plant, there was no light, we didn’t use electricity from PHCN, we installed our own diesel generator that gave us light, but today there is now light. That is why I don’t normally feel the absence of light, the way other factories complain about light. We now use both PHCN light and our own diesel generator plant”.
The Colloquium which was held as part of activities to mark the Birthday of the National Leader of All Progressive Congress, His Excellency, Asiwaju, Bola Ahmed Tinubu was graced by The President, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, The Vice President, His Excellency, Prof Yemi Osibanjo, GCON, The Executive Governor Of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwun
Other dignitaries included former Vice President Namadi Sambo, Governors Bello Masari (Katsina State), Sam Lalong (Plateau), Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Senator Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Senator Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna), and Abubakar Bello (Niger).
There were also former Anambra State Governor’s Jim Nwobodo and Peter Obi, former Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole, former Benue State Governor George Akume, former Lagos State Governor Lateef Jakande, his wife, Alhaja Abimbola, former Ogun State governors Olusegun Osoba and Gbenga Daniel, former Ekiti State Governor Adeniyi Adebayo, business mogul Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Alhaji Rasak Okoya, Chief Kessington Adebutu, former Lagos State Deputy governors Sarah Sosan, Prince Abiodun Ogunleye and Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, former Ogun State Deputy Governor Segun Adesegun, retired Supreme Court Justice George Oguntade, Oba of Lagos Rilwan Akiolu, Emir of Borgu Alhaji Haliru Dantoro II, Minister of Information Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan, House of Representatives Majority Leader Femi Gbajabiamila and Managing Director of Nigeria Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman.
Speakers at the colloquium included the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah. His Finance counterpart, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, Business Mogul, Aliko Dangote, the Leader of SOCART Team, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Mr. Abraham Issac, Chief Executive Officer of CDS, Chinwe Ohajuruka, Tempo Housing managing Partner David Aderounmu, Founder of Wilson’s Juice Company Limited Seun Abolaji, Chief Executive Officer of Bathkandy Mrs. Blondie Okpuzor, Co-founder of AACE Foods Ndidi Nwuneli, Chief Executive Officer of Chocolate City Jude Abaga and Chief Executive Officer of Biola Alabi Media Mrs Biola Alabi.
In his brief talk, Dr Chukwuma listed three (3) major areas the Government can concentrate to stir up innovation among young Nigerians which includes;
Power: Government should look at the PHCN tariff for manufacturers. They should subsidize the price of light for them so that they won’t run out of business. The current PHCN tariff is making it difficult for the young manufacturers to survive and make profit and is discouraging new ones to enter.
Tax: Government should look into the area of tax for manufacturers because they are one of the highest employers of labour. Government should give Tax cut/ incentives to the manufacturing sector to reduce the negative impact of the foreign exchange crisis on the sector.
Furthermore, the employees of these manufacturing companies equally pay the PAYE tax, on these note I appeal that government should give tax relief to these companies to ease their cost of doing business
Patronage. The government should ensure that they patronize local manufacturers in the area of goods they need just as they now patronize Innoson Motors. This will make them stay in business and further encourage young ones to enter.
Public Relations and Media Assistant