Anambra Commissioner for Trade, Commerce, Market and Wealth Creation, Dr Christian Madubuko, has described businessmen in Anambra state as innovative but greedy.
Madubuko made this known when he opened the 2018 Annual General Meeting of Awka Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (AWKACCIMA) in Awka on Wednesday.
Madubuko said some market leaders in the state were frustrating the efforts of Gov. Willie Obiano at ensuring an enabling environment for commerce and industry to thrive.
He narrated how he was stunned upon assumption of office to see that some businessmen approached him with as much as N10 million in the name of “cleaning chair’’ for him.
The commissioner also revealed that some illegal toll collectors had been arrested and handed over to the Department of State Security for further investigation to unravel the syndicate.
He alleged that people who were feasting on the revenue accruable to the state government were calling and threatening him because of the sanity he was bringing to market leaderships.
In his words: “Businessmen in Anambra are innovative but greedy. How can somebody bring N10 million to clean chair for a commissioner? Where did you get that money from? If my chair is dirty and you want to clean it, you use handkerchief.
“We must stop this greediness if we must get things right. It is only in Nigeria that I hear of kickbacks. It must be discouraged. Let us join hands to sanitise the system.
“People come together, forge signature and start collecting money in the name of government, I was forced to pay N400,000 to these people and their confession at DSS implicated everybody.
“One called me and said you know commissioners don’t come into the markets, but you come as you like and accuse us of being thieves; don’t worry, we will shoot you one day and I said, my doors are open,’’ he said.
The commissioner commended the Chambers for their contribution to the economy of the state and assured them that all efforts were being made to make them operate maximally.
He, however, expressed regret that AWKACCIMA had not commenced work on the piece of land allotted to them since 2002 and promised that Obiano would like to have their secretariat as one of his legacies.
The commissioner urged them to encourage other investors to come to Anambra as security which was a critical infrastructure for business was available among other indices.