Kayode Falowo, President and Chairman of Council, Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce, in this remarks made available to OpenLife, recounts the Chamber’s gains in 2019 and reflects on prospects as businesses commerce in the 3rd decade of the 21st Century
Dear Members and Friends,
It is with great pleasure that I welcome all our dear members to a New Year and wish you all a 2020 that is full of joy and prosperity! As we start a new year, I wish to convey the Council’s appreciation to you for being a significant part of the achievements of our Chamber in 2019. Indeed, the NBCC has grown in many respects over the last one year. Worthy of note, is that we increased in number by welcoming 42 new companies into our various membership categories. In particular, I wish to specially recognize the Premium Members who joined us in the course of the year- UTL Trustee Management Services Limited and Wema Bank Plc. In June 2019, we started an Edutech Conference in partnership with Olashore International School and EduFirst.ng. The Conference was endorsed by the Federal Ministry of Education and we successfully hosted about 200 delegates and students discussing topics on Strategies for Closing the Employability Gap, Universities as a Catalyst for Innovation, Development & Technology and The Future of Learning Curricular. In the last 6 months we have successfully hosted the monthly Breakfast Meetings featuring top rated Speakers/Panellists and robust attendance by high quality audience. All the Breakfast Meetings have been successful and have made significant financial and brand equity contributions to the Chamber. During the year, we also ran various Training Programs, MSME Clinics and Members Evenings. The year ended on a high note with the successful hosting of the Presidential Inauguration Dinner at Eko Hotels, Victoria Island. The event witnessed attendance by top officials of the Federal and States governments, representatives of the UK Government, foremost religious/traditional leaders, captains of industry in Nigeria and foreigners from various nationalities. The dinner has redefined the expectation of the Nigerian public about the chamber movement and I wish to congratulate all our members for this success. I also wish to specially thank the Chairpersons and members of our various committees for the excellent delivery of their respective mandates. In the course of executing the various programs highlighted above, we engaged with over 1,500 businesses and we hope to convert many of these to our members in the coming months. We also aim to forge closer relationships and partnerships with many of the companies in the next 12 months. In a similar vein, in August 2019, we started a Mentorship and Internship Programme for undergraduates and graduates in public and private universities. Again, this has proved to be a successful program for impacting Nigerian youths. I would like to specially thank the participating organisations for making this possible. The success could not have been possible without your support. We aim to position the NBCC as the premier bilateral Chamber of Commerce in Nigeria and to achieve this, the Council will embark on additional specific and measurable activities. Some of these are: • Completion/commissioning of the NBCC Plaza and dedication of a facility to host the British Trade Centre within the Plaza premises. • Establishment and Launching of a Nigerian Trade Centre in the UK. • Actively drive our efforts towards Bringing Back British Businesses (BBBB) in order to diversify our membership base and provide closer interaction between Nigerian and British businesses. • Revive the British Golf Cup and utilize this as a platform for attracting market leading Nigerian and British businesses to our fold. In view of this Administration’s commitment towards ensuring an exponential growth in our membership base and bridging the gap between education and work-place readiness, we intend to have two key programmes embedded in our 2020 Calendar of events. These are: NBCC Summer Internship Program: The program is designed for students and fresh graduates. It aims to provide real-world experience and equip participants with requisite I was elected as the President six months ago and upon assumption of office, we have reviewed the Chamber’s performance so far, and outlined the specific objectives for this Administration. By the grace of God, significant progress has been made in the process of rebranding and repositioning our Chamber. We are committed towards achieving the set objectives over the next two years. skills for joining the labour force and participating Member Organizations will host these participants for a duration of 1-2 months. It is our intention that this will provide NBCC with the platform for meeting and grooming future members/leaders of the Chamber. Experts-in-Residence Program: This program will create an avenue for experts across diverse industries to collaborate and offer Advisory services to participating Member Organizations and furnish members with necessary information for building their institutions. Also lined up for the year, are some unique programmes and networking events which will be communicated by the Secretariat in due course. We appeal that you read our newsletters and remain informed of all that we have lined up for the year. Finally, I wish to thank the Council, the Executive Committee and all our Financial Members for their continuous commitment and dedication. The progress we have made to date is as a result of your tremendous support and the endorsement received from all of you. I appeal to everyone to continue to provide the desired support required for the Chamber to achieve its goals. I wish you and your families a Prosperous New Year!