National Grand Patron of Ndigboamaka Progressives Market Association, Prof. Obiora Okonkwo, has urged governments at all levels to intensify support and ensure recognition for traders in the state, given their contribution toward the growth of the economy.
Okonkwo made the call in Abuja on Thursday at a meeting with the new executives of the Ndigboamaka Progressives Markets Association. (NPMA).
NPMA is the umbrella body of Ibo Traders in Lagos, comprising 58 market groups across the state.
It has the mandate to facilitate trade for its members and improve the volume of trade for further growth of the economy of Lagos and Nigeria in general.
Okonkwo said the call became necessary given the traders’ high volume of trading activities and the impact on the economy of Lagos and Nigeria in general.
He said: “These people represent a turnover of trillions in this our economy; as simple as they might look, they can not be taken for granted.
“These people here have several youths who are engaged over their mentorship in different markets in Lagos, they should be recognised, and that is going to be our objective.
“So they need all the support to add more, to grow their business because, the bigger their business becomes, the more trillions of turnover they are turning in, the more customs duty, the more taxes to the nation and a good number of them are moving from trading to manufacturing, to assembling and not Just buying and selling.
“The association is a significant group to the nation’s life, future and economy because these people consist of about 60 to 70 per cent of Lagos economy’s Internal Generated Revenue (IGR).”
Okonkwo, a professor of business at the University of Abuja Business School, said the group has worked out a way to create a mutual working relationship and understanding with the government.
Okonkwo also commended the association for the transparent and peaceful conduct of the election of its new executives. He urged them to consolidate the peace among members of the association.
The new President of the association, Comrade Chinedu Ukatu, who is also a member of the Lagos State Market Advisory Council, said the association has a cordial relationship with the Lagos state government.
According to him, the priority of the new executive is to intensify trade facilitation among members for the benefit of traders who consists of different races.
” What we are concerned is about facilitating trade for all traders in Lagos by uniting the traders, the markets, on issues like multiple taxations, and ultimately further promote the welfare of traders by collaborating with government and other well meaningful stakeholders