EuroCham Working Groups
EuroCham set up Working Groups as a platform to assess, review and improve specific subject areas affecting its members’ business operations. These Working Groups set up meetings throughout the year with stakeholders and experts, to discuss topics and proffer solutions.
The EuroCham currently has 3 active Working Groups which are headed by the EuroCham Board of Directors:
1. Finance Working Group (FWG)
The FWG deals with all matters relating to finance, foreign exchange matters and taxation, as well as the regulators such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). The FWG holds regular meetings with the Chief Financial Officers from all EuroCham member companies. These meetings also involve the participation of consultants and experts in the finance field. In 2021, meetings were held with experts from PWC in relation to the Finance Act as well as discussions on the collection of Value Added Tax.
The FWG organized extended sessions and CEO Roundtable sessions with the:
- CEO of the FMDQ, Bola Oladele Koko
- Deputy Governor of the CBN, Aishah Ahmad, CFA
- Coordinating Director of the FIRS, Mathew Olusanya Gbonjubola
The FWG is chaired by Lesley Baxter, Executive Director (Secretary General) of Total Energies Marketing Nigeria PLC, and co-chaired by Mary Ojulari, the Deputy Managing Director of Weststar Associates Limited (Mercedes-Benz Nigeria). Activities from the Finance Working Group will continue in 2022.
2.Trading across Borders Working Group (TBWG)
The TBWG deals with matters relating to the import and export of goods as well as the relevant regulators including the Nigerian Ports Authority. The members of the TBWG meet to share experiences and practical solutions in relation to the importation and exportation of goods.
This working group is currently being co-chaired by Ascanio Russo, Managing Director of Grimaldi Group, Peder Pedersen Managing Director of Arla Foods, and Taiwo Ilesanmi, the Managing Director of BASF Operations LFTZ Enterprise. There are ongoing plans to organize meetings and dialogues with regulators in 2022.
3.Sustainability Working Group (SWG)
The SWG was set up in 2021 and kicked off its activities with an inaugural meeting on 30th June, 2021. The SWG was put in place to discuss key issues such as the possible impact of the EU Green Deal, carbon neutrality initiatives (net-zero), related compliance costs, difficulties of local implementation, existence and/or stability of regulatory frameworks and policies. The SWG will focus on the following four pillars:
- Circular economy
- Entrepreneurship & employability
- Carbon neutrality (End-2-end value chain approach)
- Power generation/energy storage
The SWG is chaired by Jean-Marc Ricca, Managing Director for BASF West Africa. Activities from the SWG will recommence in 2022.
4. Human Resources & Skills Development Working Group (HR & SD WG)
EuroCham Nigeria will set up a new working group in 2022 with a series of new initiatives that will focus on HR & Skills Development. There has already been some progressive engagement with EuroCham members and a strategic partnership has been established with the Lagos State Technical and Educational Board.
The EuroCham members have also agreed to participate actively in the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Program. This programme is a youth empowerment partnership initiative between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the United Nations Development Programme, also funded by the European Union delegation to provide employment for 20,000 following the successful completion of a programme. The Fellows (that is the “Graduands”) on completing the programme will be provided with a meaningful placement opportunity for 12 months with Host Companies (such as member companies of the EuroCham) to engage the Fellows with substantial work during the 12-month period.
The chairs of the HR & SD WG will be finalized by the beginning of the third quarter of 2022.