ABOUT US

Enugu Coalition of Business and Professional Associations (ECOBPA) started in July 2008 as Enugu Business Forum (EBF), a loose association of professional and business associations.
It was an initiative of the leadership of the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), and based on the need to have a common platform for business and professional associations to articulate and pursue common business issues and agenda to improve the business environment in Enugu State.

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WHAT WE DO

WHAT WE DO

DIAGNOSTICS OF MEMBER-ASSOCIATIONS:

CIPE facilitated the conduct of a diagnostics of the 22 foundational member-association of the Coalition, with regards to their operational efficiency and capacity.

CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP FOR MEMBERS OF THE COALITION

 A workshop was organized for the Coalition by CIPE on the theme “Strengthening the Voice of Enugu SME’s Sector”; held from 6th of July to 9th of July 2009. Thereafter, the local Communicating Committee was constituted with the structure for 7 business sectors namely, Industries; Commerce & Trade; Agriculture; NGOS/LSOS; Professional Practice; Oil & Gas; Hospitality & Tourism.

THE ADVOCACY CAMPAIGN ON MULTIPLE TAXATION/LEVIES

The Coalition carried out an extensive Advocacy Campaign on the issue of Multiple Taxation and Levies in April 2010. The Advocacy program on Taxation took the Coalition to various stakeholders particularly concerned government agencies.

The visits culminated in a business roundtable on the 29th of April 2010 with the Speaker and members of the Enugu State House of Assembly and some members of the Enugu State Executive Council, particularly relevant Commissioners in attendance; including Chairmen of the municipal L.G.As in Enugu State, Enugu North L.G.A, Enugu South L.G.A, and Enugu East L.G.A., the State Director, Board of Internal Revenue and other members of the business community.

Deliberations were held on the Position Paper of the Coalition on Tax Regime/Administration in Enugu State and the need for necessary reforms to correct the defective tax structure and poor administration in the State.

Following recommendations generated and arrived at, and pursuant to Advocacy Programme that was undertaken to His Excellency, the then Governor of Enugu State, Barr. Sullivan I. Chime, the Inter-ministerial Committee to drive the implementation of the recommendations on Tax Reforms in the State was established.

The Coalition interacted with the Executive Chairman of the Enugu State Board of Internal Revenue, Mr. Felix Chime on the 14th of December 2010. There is hope that the State Government is presently addressing the several other issues and recommendations of the Coalition.

THE ADVOCACY ON SECURITY/SUMMIT

An Advocacy Program on Security was carried out by the Coalition, based on a Position Paper prepared by the Coalition; which identified the issues, analyzed them through a survey and empirical study.

A Security summit held on the 25th and 26th of May 2010.  The summit which attracted Stakeholders from States in the South East Zone featured experience sharing, paper presentations from Security experts and effectual interactions. The Local Communicating Committee followed this up with a visit to the then Inspector General of Police Mr. Ogbonnaya Onovo in Abuja where the document containing the policy recommendations of the Coalition was presented. There has been a marked improvement in the security situation of the state as a result.

THE PUBLIC PRIVATE DIALOGUE AND STAKEHOLDERS FORUM ON SOUTH EAST BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT

A strategic Advocacy program carried out by the Coalition was a two-day event tagged “Public Private Dialogue & Stakeholders Forum on the South East Business Environment: The case for Reforms on Regulation”; which took place from the 14th – 15th July 2011.

ECCIMA through her Advocacy platform, Ecobpa had conducted a survey of 100 businesses in the five States of the South East, to obtain first-hand information on the experiences of business operators in the region with regards to the following six indicators:

  1. Starting a business
  2. Registering Property
  3. Tax Administration
  4. Obtaining a Construction Permit
  5. Enforcing Contracts
  6. Security

This Public Private dialogue provided a platform for inclusive and frank interactions to advance free enterprise through necessary reforms to enhance investment and enterprise in the region.

The Coalition acknowledged greatly the support of the Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and guidance towards these advocacy programs

ENGAGEMENT WITH SOME STAKEHOLDERS ON TAX MATTERS

In order to check the excesses of some government agencies regarding multiple taxation and levies, the Coalition consulted with the Local Government Chairman of Enugu East LGA and the State Board of Internal Revenue, between August and September 2012.

These led to the stoppage of operations of multiple tax collections, in order to fully engage Ecobpa members in constructive dialogue. The resultant dialogue has saved business operators from the highhandedness of the tax consultants of the local government.

VISITATION TO VARIOUS STAKEHOLDERS IN THE YEAR

The Coalition in driving her Advocacy Programme, visited the Speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Eugene Odo On Thursday 2nd of May 2013. The Coalition raised the issue of the arbitrary nature of the operations of the Enugu State Waste Management Authority and requested for a review or amendment of the edict/act establishing the agency with a view of aligning its operations and services with international best practices.

The Coalition visited the Chairman and Management of the State Board of Internal Revenue precisely on the 6th of May 2013 to deepen the consultation regarding the implementation of the recommendations on Tax Administration after the Business Round Table and Advocacy on Tax Administration and Regime held in 2010. The Chairman of the Board, Mr. Felix Chime assured the Coalition of continuing cooperation and promised to work with the Coalition for the actualization of shared objectives.

THE ADVOCACY PROGRAM ON THE EFFECTS & IMPACT OF CORRUPTION ON BUSINESS

A Business Roundtable on the Effects and Impact of Corruption focusing on two key agencies of Enugu State Government viz. the Ministry of Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority and the State Board of Internal Revenue was held between 27th May 2014, with ECTDA and 28th May 2014, with Board of Internal Revenue.

The policy recommendations of the advocacy program on the issues relating to the two agencies are well documented with monitoring and evaluation ongoing.

There were post event visits to Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria and Nigerian Television Authority on July 22, 2014 led by the Chairman, Dr. Ifeanyi Okoye OFR, mni where the Final Policy Position Paper recommendations were presented to the management of both media houses. Some of the policy recommendations from the Advocacy Programs are being implemented as the Coalition keeps tracking and scanning the business environment.

PARTICIPATION IN THE PUBLIC HEARING ON “BILL FOR A LAW TO ESTABLISH THE ENUGU STATE INVESTMENT PROMOTION COMMISSION AND OTHER CONNECTED PURPOSES” HELD AT THE ENUGU STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY IN 2014

The Coalition attended and participated in the Public Hearing on a “Bill for a Law to Establish the Enugu State Investment Promotion Commission and for other Connected Purposes”. The Public Hearing took place on Wednesday, 7th May, 2014, where the Coalition called for the inclusion of at least 2 members of the Private Sector into the Board of the Commission.

INTERVENTION MEETING OF MEMBERS OF ECOBPA AND EASTERN NIGERIA TENANTS ASSOCIATION

 

  1. Coalition members intervened by setting up a meeting on the complaint of Tenants of the Eastern Nigeria Industrial Park on the excessive taxes/levies on members by the State Board of Internal Revenue.
  2. The Coalition was able to negotiate downwards the amount of tax payable by operators in the park who are its members.

CAPACITY TRAINING WORKSHOP IN ABUJA IN PREPARATION FOR THE GUBERNATORIAL PRE-ELECTION DEBATE

The Coalition organized a Pre-election Gubernatorial Interactive Forum/Debate held at the Nike Resort Hotel Enugu on Monday, 2nd February 2015, which featured four (4) Political Parties.

Twelve members of the Coalition with 3 journalists from Enugu attended a 3-day Workshop in Abuja in preparation for the Gubernatorial Election Debate for the 2015 General Elections, in Enugu State. This was sponsored by CIPE and was held between the 9th and 12th of September 2015.

The event was covered live by FRCN, ESBS, NTA, and Solid FM. Journalists from various print media also covered the well attended event extensively.

WORKSHOP ON DEVELOPING A STATE BUSINESS AGENDA

The Workshop on Developing a State Business Agenda was organized by CIPE for members of the Coalition from the 29th of July to 31st of July, 2015. The Workshop was facilitated by CIPE personnel.

The Workshop modules covered subjects of Business Agenda Advocacy Framework.

The Validation by External Stakeholders took place between the 10th & 12th of May 2016. The Validators made useful contributions and critiqued the draft policy brief and recommendations.

The Coalition held a General Meeting on 25th May, 2016 to discuss and critique the Draft Policy Brief as presented by the Consultants after the inclusion of the validators’ input for the production of the Final Draft Policy Brief.

The Coalition then followed this with sensitization visits to relevant government agencies, which was the 1st phase of the SBA project. They include: Commissioner for Chieftaincy Matters and the Commissioner for Human Capital Development and Poverty Reduction; on the need to involve the Traditional Rulers in redesigning the security architecture of the State especially in Rural Areas with regards to the attack by suspected herdsmen; on the need to support the neighborhood vigilante; the need to establish security posts in strategic neighborhoods especially in boundary/borders of the state as well as provision of logistics to support the vigilante groups; the banning of open grazing by Fulani Herdsmen to avoid destruction of farmlands and attendant violence and associated killings were issues discussed.

The Coalition visited the Commissioner for Environment where the issue of the highhandedness of officials of the agency in its operations was highlighted. The Commissioner stated that the recommendation of the Coalition was welcome, even as government had already set up a committee to review the operations of the agency.

Visits/Consultations and a presentation of the Policy Brief were made to the Commissioner for Housing on the need to embark on affordable housing so as to bring down the cost of rent in the State; and for the support of government to Estate Developers through ease of access to land and mortgage linkages.

The Coalition visited the Ministry of Agriculture and canvassed for access to fertilizer to genuine farmers at the right time to stem the incidents of extortion.

The Coalition visited the Management of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) where the issues of poor/epileptic power supply, arbitrary electricity bills to customers were raised and discussed.

All of these visits took place between Monday, 6th June, 2016 and Tuesday 14th June, 2016.

The Coalition visited the then Hon Commissioner for Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority, Engr. IK Ugwuegede, to raise the issue of indiscriminate clamping of vehicles of which was affecting members and their businesses in adverse ways. The Ecobpa delegation notified the Commissioner of the Advocacy Programme on the Effects and Impact of Corruption in the Development and Growth of Business in Enugu State. Other issues discussed with the Hon Commissioner for ECTDA: the process of registration of property, and building construction permits; the need to have a One-Stop-Shop in the registration and approval for construction. The Commissioner thanked the Coalition for the efforts towards improving the Enugu Business environment and assured the Coalition of his supp

PRESS BRIEFING TO CAP THE 1st PHASE OF SBA

A Press Briefing was organized on the 15th of June, 2016 to maximize publicity on the 1st Phase of the State Business Agenda Project. The Press Briefing was well publicized and aired in the various media that covered it.

SPECIAL INTERACTIVE FORUM WITH TOP OFFICIALS OF THE ENUGU ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION COMPANY (EEDC)

The Coalition, as a follow-up to the earlier visit to EEDC Management, organized a Special Interactive Session with the representatives and Top Management staff of the Company on Tuesday, August 30, 2016.

The event provided wider opportunity for members of the business community to present their issues.

The event was covered by AIT, Vanguard Newspaper, Business Day and Solid FM, courtesy of ECCIMA.