Kano Chamber of Commerce elects leaders as Darma, Dalhatu reach truce

By Yusuf Issa An-Nuphawi

Stormy leadership crisis at Kano Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, KACCIMA, which lasted for over a year has been tamed with the inauguration of a new executive council on Thursday, thanks to nonagenarian Alh. Aminu Danttata who brokered the truce.

DAILY COMMERCE recalls that former governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje in March, 2022 dissolved the Abubakar Dalhatu-led executive of KACCIMA and approved a caretaker committee to take over the affairs of the chamber.

The Dalhatu-led executive was dissolved for holding on to power after their tenure expired, Ganduje, who has just been named the National Chairman of the ruling APC, justified in a statement signed by his Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Usman Alhaji. 

The crisis deepened further with the rise of the Usman Darma-led faction, jostling for the position of the Chamber’s president against influential Dalhatu who exhibited Africa’s sit-tight syndrome, according to observers.

The opposition threw tantrums as they questioned the legitimacy of the Dalhatu administration to conduct an annual trade fair, a significant activity at a commerce chamber, after failing to conduct an election for the emergence of new leadership.

Activities at KACCIMA came to a standstill as result of various litigation from both parties and intervention by the security agents who restricted access to the premier chamber on the directive of the Kano State government.

Finally, a rousey Annual General Meeting, AGM, held Wednesday where an astute banker and risk manager, Mallam Garba Imam emerged as “neutral” President of KACCIMA following the consensus by the stakeholders and wary parties who agreed that only those who have not held any leadership position in the chamber in the past should form members of the new executive council. 

Mallam Garba, a former director at Sterling Bank, assured KACCIMA members of justifying the confidence reposed in him as he will carry along all the stakeholders, irrespective of their differences.

He said his vision was to work with all the members to resuscitate the moribund industries in Kano which he helped build some of them  in the eighties when he served as the Manager at Chase Merchant Bank Nigeria, defunct Continental Merchant Bank Plc.

Expressing dismay over the suffering of businesses in Kano, Garba said: In the eighties I was Manager at Continental Merchant Bank.There were a lot of industries around Kano; in Bompai, Sharada and Chalawa. I contributed to their development. I know that Kano businesses are down. I will bring my experience to bear on the job”.

Speaking to DAILY COMMERCE on the sideline of the inauguration ceremony, the outgoing Chairman of Interim Committee of KACCIMA, Ahmed Aminu, said his transient leadership was able to put in place, “a very formidable document that will assist them (new executive council) in restructuring the chamber and restructuring of the Secretariat. The major weakness of KACCIMA is the secretariat”.

Regretting the poor level of human capital in KACCIMA his Committee inherited, Aminu said: “There is incompetence. There is a lack of capacity. There is lack of awareness about the job description by some of the staff that are saddled with various responsibilities”.

Aminu, who lauded Alh. Danttata for his role in resolving the leadership crisis at KACCIMA, said: “The chamber needed a clean membership outlook because there are many companies that are moribund. We have cleaned the register of membership to ensure that only qualified members of KACCIMA participate in the activities of the chamber”.

He added that, “The website of the chamber was asleep and we reactivated it. We have reviewed the membership dues which were far below what people pay in Lagos and in Abuja. Paying N10,000 to obtain membership form and N15,000 for annual subscription is no longer sustainable for KACCIMA which is the oldest chamber of commerce in Nigeria. It is not in tandem with best practices across the globe.

“We have also reached out to some old and prominent members who have become disenchanted with the way and manner the chamber was run in recent years so they left and stopped contributing to the funding of the annual trade fair. We reached out to them and we have rekindled the relationship.”

Speaking further, Aminu said, “We have given a face-lift to the Secretariat from an abysmal outlook to a corporate kind of looking that will please the people. My interim committee has been able to water the storm that has been raging for a couple of years”.

When asked by DAILY COMMERCE if his Committee uncovered any financial mismanagement by the Dalhatu-led administration, Aminu said, “We didn’t investigate any financial impropriety because that was not part of our brief”. 

In his reaction one of the factional leaders, Usman Darma said, “We have elected new leadership on certain conditions and agreements. If they are obeyed, there will be cooperation and peace but at any point if those agreements were reneged the new leadership will become illegitimate.

“They (new executive council) emerged out of the consensus among the stakeholders and we (his faction) have accepted the consensus. In Sha Allah we hope there will not be a problem in future.

The agreement, Darma said, was that the Patrons, his faction and Dalhatu faction should present four people each which form the new executive members, total 12.

“We also agreed that anybody that is going to be a member of the new executive has to be fresh and has never served in any leadership position before in the chamber.”

Darma warned that, “If these terms and conditions are adhered to, we don’t have any problem. We will  go back and talk to our members to exercise patience. But when the agreement is reneged we have no option but to go back to the field”.

When asked by DAILY COMMERCE on the status of various litigations that have constituted roadblocks for the functioning of KACCIMA, Darma said, ”If the agreement is not breached, we are going to withdraw all the court cases”.

Speaking on the negative impact of the crisis, National Vice President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture, NACCIMA, Ahmed Rabiu said KACCIMA did suffer but commerce in Kano continued to blossom.

Rabiu, who was the Coordinator and Secretary of the KACCIMA Electoral College added that, “With the new purposeful leadership now in place, he said KACCIMA will take its position of providing advice to the government and coordinate all businesses and associations under its membership”.

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