Trade Minister Alkache Alhada and Guests
Report: Mohammed Abu, Niamey
Niger’s Trade Minister, Mr. Alkache Alhada, has urged Nigeriens in the West African region and beyond, to foster a united front, leverage their collective strength and be able to play a more impactful role in the country’s development agenda.
Hon Alhada was speaking during a special reception for local West African participants on the sidelines of the recently ended UE-Niger Business Forum.
It was intended to formally welcome and briefly engage CEOs and senior executives who had represented their various companies back home in Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast among others.
The Minister specially appreciated the presence of Ghanaian participants at the UE-Niger Business Forum. He recounted the historical lead role of the first Republican government of Ghana in fostering of African solidarity and unity while underscoring its relevance in today’s development context.
He also proposed that, they could pull financial resources together and possibly, establish a bank in Niger as their input towards the achievement of Niger’s development goals.
The participating Ghanaian companies were namely, Afro-Arab Co.Ltd,Ghana,CEO,Alhaj Awwal,Sando Man Transport Ltd,Ghana,CEO,Mr.Fuseini Musah,Al Firdaws Goup of Companies,CEO,Alhaj Abdul Razak,NMW Ltd,Ghana,CEO,Mr.Desmond,Tanko Forex Bureau Ltd,Ghana,CEO,Alhaj Pro-Umar Tanko/Paramount Chief of the Greater Accra Zerma Community, among others.
Alhaj,Chief Pro-Umar Tanko,in his submission,appreciated the hard work and great support the Niger Ambassador to Ghana, Her Excellency,Hajia Salamatou Goga,gave to participating companies from Ghana.
He also appreciated the selflessness and high sense of responsibility of Alhaj Illolo Abubakar,Chairman,PNDs Tarayya Party, West Africa who also doubles as the Special Advisor to the President of the Republic of Niger.Alhaj Illolo, Chief Tanko said, played an important role towards the participation of chiefs and other Nigeriens in the sub region during the Business Forum.
Thursday Lunch Meeting
A lunch meeting was also hosted by the Trade Ministry in Niamey on Thursday for various participants from Nigeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast who had as yet not departed for their respective countries. This afforded them an opportunity to better acquaint themselves with each other and also post Forum networking.
Hon Alhada in an address, expressed his gratitude and appreciated his quests for attending the Forum from the beginning to the end. He also disclosed that, His Excellency, President Mohamed Bazzoum was also very exited to learn about their participation while also urging them to have trust in government’s development agenda. He assured them of government’s protection and commitment to support them establish their businesses in Niger without hurdles.
Interactions between the Minister and his guests and networking among them ,brought out the importance for diaspora Nigeriens in West Africa and other parts of the world, including non-Nigeriens West Africans with business interest in Niger, to collaborate and contribute their quota meaningfully towards Niger’s development.
Chief Pro-Umar Tanko in a submission , touched on the need for consideration of Sovereign Sukuk(Zero interest Islamic bonds) issuance to address public sector funding gap.
Then also, the vital importance of government support for first entrant companies into Niger while adding that, being in Niamey has afforded them the opportunity to appreciate the situation better and that they would engage the authorities on any matters arising after an appraisal of their trip. .
The Minister’s passion for a common front and how to concretize it, prompted Chief Tanko to propose the creation of a WhatsApp group platform. This he said should be the initial step that would also serve as a rallying point and conduit for post forum interactions and networking among them.
The e-group proposal was officially endorsed resulting into the creation of the Business Forum UE-Niger WhatsApp group platform with an initial 28 membership numerical strength.
The indefatigable Mm Goukoye Rekkia,2nd Counselor, Embassy of the Republic of Niger to Ghana, who led the Ghana Delegation to the Forum, worked around the clock to ensure everything was was well with all.