Jan. 25, 2022


Chinyere Almona

Nigeria

Chinyere Almona

Director General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)

The leading voice of the organized private sector in Lagos, LCCI aims to promote and protect the interests of its over 2,500 corporate members and the wider business community.

BIO

Chinyere Almona has 30 years of diversified leadership experience in various roles, sectors, and countries. She has a specialist MBA in CSR from Nottingham University Business School, UK. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, a fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants, and an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Directors (Ghana). She holds a PhD in business administration from Business School Netherlands. Almona was one of the 40 Top Women from across Africa on the 2020 African Women in Banking and Finance Awards list and is a published author.


What does your experience bring to LCCI, and what will your ambitions and focus areas be as the new DG?

I am a seasoned professional with a broad range of experience, including finance and accounting, corporate governance, management consulting, sustainability, strategy, people management, and operations. I was the chief executive of Vantage Governance Services, with a strong network across Africa, providing support to public and private sector clients to improve governance, risk, and compliance practices. Before this, I led IFC's Africa Corporate Governance Program, which provided various corporate and regulatory governance reforms across 13 African countries, including contributing to several global initiatives. LCCI is the leading voice of the organized private sector. It aims to promote and protect the interests of its over 2,500 corporate members and the wider business community through public policy advocacy, meaningful stakeholder engagements, and the provision of commercial and business opportunities. Under the leadership of Dr. Muda Yusuf, LCCI crossed an inflection point in the achievement of its mandate and is now poised for bigger things. At this strategic juncture, LCCI will benefit from my 30-year diversified experience, proven ability to drive strategy execution, and lead transformational initiatives. As the director general, I will lead our membership engagement and advocacy efforts to deepen and expand our service to the business community. Our members will be able to take advantage of the opportunities provided by AfCFTA. The growth potential is endless, and I look forward to leveraging my extensive experience in consulting, research, advocacy, policy reforms, and private sector development to make an impact and contribute tangible value. Building on the foundation laid by my predecessor, I will also focus on strengthening the internal structures to position LCCI for greater success.

What role has LCCI played in recent years with regards to promoting businesses growth and entrepreneurship in Lagos?

As a representative of the private sector, we regularly organize stakeholders' dialogue sessions to engage policymakers at the federal, state, and local government levels on various investment climate issues. Our advocacy activities include a quarterly press conference to review the economy in the preceding quarter and communicate our position on crucial policy issues while using the platform to make recommendations to policymakers. In addition, our annual Presidential Policy Dialogue Forum creates an avenue for the business community to engage and interact with policymakers on contemporary issues. Our advocacy activities have been impactful, judging by recent economic developments, although much more needs to be done. LCCI plays an active role in providing funding opportunities for members. Most of our members are SMEs, and limited access to finance remains one of the biggest challenges confronting SMEs. We have had several engagements with funding institutions, including the Bank of Industry, Nigeria Export-Import Bank, Development Bank of Nigeria, US International Development Finance Corporation, the Central Bank of Nigeria, and Nigeria Export Promotion Council. The aim is to enable our members to explore various funding opportunities offered by these institutions. We promote entrepreneurial development through a mentoring program anchored by our Business Education and Services Training (BEST) Unit. Upon graduation, mentees become members of LCCI at zero cost so that they can enjoy our services.

How would you assess the current business climate?

The business environment has not recovered fully from COVID-19 disruptions. Business activities in many sectors remain weak and below pre-pandemic levels. The Purchasing Manager's Index of the manufacturing and services sectors trended in the contractionary territory in July 2021, an indication that several business operators are still being affected by the lingering adverse effects of the pandemic. Assessing the business climate based on investor confidence is equally disappointing; confidence in the investment climate has worsened in the post-pandemic era compared to before. Through the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), however, effort is being made to reform the business environment to encourage investor participation in the economy. The federal and Lagos state governments are ready to work with private investors.

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