Bonny Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, (BOCCIMA), which showed up in 1983 but went moribund soon after has roared back into life. This time, the advent of ICT is helping to create its pace as experts begin to reposition the organisation. Sources said the new drive germinated in the palace of the Amanyanabo of Grand Bonny while Exxonmobil Producing Unlimited is the driver.
The BOCCIMA is to be driven by information and communications technology (ICT) as it strives to make Bonny an international business city in few years to come.
BOCCIMA has been moribund for years but the King’s palace was said to have shown concern and got ExxonMobil to lead in the reactivation efforts of the island chambers so as to launch it into a modern business age to compliment the newly floated development initiative called ‘Bonny Vision 2040’ aimed at pushing Bonny up on global business scale like Dubai.
To achieve the ICT objective, the newly mobilized members of BOCCIMA have been pressed into an intensive one week ICT training at the main hall of Delight Hotel on the newly constructed King William Pepple Road in Bonny where the business captains are learning everything IT.
The training is also about business creativity initiatives to enable the Island chambers operate online and engage on platforms dealing in issues ranging from registration of members and payment of dues to full transaction of businesses and other interactions.
This is said to be to help drive BOCCIMA along international standards and to compliment Bonny city as an international island hosting the likes of Shell, ExxonMobil, Agip, and the biggest being the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), most of which operate fully on advanced IT systems.
A Public & Government Affairs official of ExxonMobil in Bonny, Dr Bara Kabaka Brown, told newsmen at the training ground that ExxonMobil felt honoured to help midwife a new BOCCIMA after its collapse many years ago. He said the King singled out Exxonmobil to carry out the sensitive but important task probably due to the company’s track record in community development and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as these affect the island.
Giving details, Mrs Constance Nwokejiobi, the Country Executive Director, Wright Portfolio Consult Ltd, which is handling the IT training and online transition scheme on behalf Michharry & Company for Exxonmobil, said the entire week had been devoted to the all-important task.
She said the training of the business executives involved both theories and intensive practical sessions that involved them to take places in the BOCCIMA website, create interactive online activities, and make the website the new centre of business platform.
Exxonmobil and their consultants also drilled the BOCCIMA members and company directors on how to ‘think outside the box’ and how to project into the future, how to aggregate Bonny’s business horizon, and how to operate in business groups to explore the great opportunities in the gas island.
Already, several companies took sessions to showcase their plans for the future and how these projections could transform Bonny into another economic hub to the scale of Dubai. Experts amongst them such as Hon. Israel Tuotamuno Williams JP, Amaopusenibo of Grand Kingdom, who is a former Commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning in the old Rivers State, now Chairman,/CEO, Integrated Ventures Nigeria Limited, helped to shape their business plans to international standards with focus on bottom line and financial projections that could help attract investors and equity participants from far and near.
BOCCIMA’s interim president, Elder Lawrence F. Fubara, advised the CEOs to learn to build up the financial history of their firms and how to position their companies for international attention because most of the big companies in Bonny are multinationals that insist on international best practices.
In his closing remarks, a topnotcher and one of the moving spirits behind the mobilization, Amaopusenibo Chapp Jumbo BJ, CEO of Bie-Usha (WA) Limited, said now that the new BOCCIMA has come to stay, all efforts must be made to sustain it. He created excitement when he said many trade tours have been lined up to the members and urged them to brace up for activities.
The closing event would hold the next day, Saturday, April 27, 2019, where the revived BOCCIMA would officially be unveiled to the world with huge potentials to compete and probably outshine many top city chambers in West Africa as top Bonny captains of industry have already lined up to pledge support backed by international mobilization.