* As Chamber set to explore trade links in the Caribbean
* Rivers-born Maureen Tamuno seals deal to open up Jamaica, Belize, Dominican Republic and Haiti on trade intelligence
By Ignatius Chukwu
Her Excellency, Maureen Tamuno is from Rivers State and is already thinking business. She has started by paying a visit to the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA) led by some of the most vibrant business thinkers around, to consult for how best to bring the Garden City closer to the Caribbean states.
To harness business opportunities and boost entrepreneurship, the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA) has agreed a collaboration schedule with newly posted Nigerian Ambassador to Jamaica, Belize, Dominican Republic and Haiti, Rivers-born Maureen Tamuno.
The collaboration would enable the business community in Rivers State to interface with their counterparts in the said countries where the Okrika-born lady would serve as ambassador. The collaboration would create need for trade intelligence that would bring business moguls in all the countries closer with their Rivers counterparts and seek ways of entrepreneurial integration and exploration especially on export of non-oil products from the South-South.
The agreement was reached Friday, April 16, 2021, when Tamuno paid a visit to the PHCCIMA headquarters near Garrison Roundabout in Port Harcourt, Rivers State where she was hosted by the PHCCIMA President, Chief Nabil Saleh. It is expected to open channels of collaboration and networking to ensure they harness whatever business opportunities available in those countries.
Chief Saleh congratulated Tamuna on her recent elevation saying PHCCIMA doors are open to provide an office for the Embassy to strengthen ties and facilitate businesses.
He said PHCCIMA has different trade groups cutting across sectors that can have robust synergy with those in the country of service to open frontiers of opportunity that will be mutually beneficial.
In her remark, Tamuno noted that her visit was to meet with the executives and other valued chamber members and to notify them that their daughter and sister is now at the helm of affair for Nigeria for these various embassies.
She disclosed that with this move, there would be opportunities and her lofty objective is to connect and strengthen relationships via bringing to fore opportunities from the Caribbean to Nigeria and particularly Rivers state.
She said from ICT, Tourism, Agriculture, Shipping and oil and gas, her office would open channels that will impact our people.
The Jamaica, Belize, Dominican Republic, and Haiti Ambassador however advised on the need to ensure adequate security in the country and state in a bid to attract these businesses.
She said her office would carry out programmes of security to ensure that Rivers State is secure for investors. She also said interaction would be constant to advance the cause of business.
Tamuno said her decision to start consultation moves from Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce is because she is a home-girl and it is only proper that charity begins at home.
Similarly, she said her decision to identify with the chamber is as a result of their exploits in business linkages and other values inherent that will be needed to connect businesses in her ambassadorial service countries to Nigeria and more especially in Rivers state.
She said with what they have done so far, if they collaborate with her embassies, they both will be able to drive the processes and achieve monumental success.
First Deputy President, Eze Mike Elechi, who also doubles as the Port Harcourt International Trade Fair Chairman said PHCCIMA is in dare need of collaborations of this nature especially in the area of getting businesses from that country to exhibit.
The next in command, Dr Chinyere Nwoga, expressed gratitude to President Mohammed Buhari for finding Tamuno worthy of such an appointment.
She said, “PHCCIMA is home, and this is your office like the President has said, we hope this new call to service will open greater synergy for the various sectors of the Rivers economy.
An elder, Dr Hyke Ochia, The NACCIMA National Vice president and South East, South-South Chamber Of Commerce (SESSCCIMA) President, said the same kind of PHCCIMA open doors would be extended to her in SSSECCIMA.
The Financial Secretary, Arch Oriaku Hanson Oyet Ile, PHCCIMA Trade Group chairmen, and chairpersons, including the delegation of technocrats that came with the Ambassador, spoke and gave their thoughts at the event.