Thursday, February 25, 2010

Chamber Prexy Urges Companies To Register

NEWS BANJUL, THE GAMBIA(MB)-The President of the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Mr. Bai Matarr Drammeh, has called on companies operating in the country to register with the chamber.
Drammeh made this call in a exclusive interview yesterday, at his office at 3D Cosulting in Fajara.
According to Drammeh, they are calling on all companies in the country to come and register with the chambers as it is here for them. He added that it is important for companies or associations of companies to take application forms to be a member as there are lots of benefits at the chambers.
He stated that to become a member the fees vary, depending on the size of the company, noting that the minimum fee is D1000 and the maximum D15000. He added that any amount that the companies register with the chambers is also the amount of their yearly subscription fees.
He explained that GCCI is a non-political organisation, whose membership belongs to different political parties. But he was quick to say that as a chamber they must have good real functional parternership with the government of the day.
According to him, the government needs the chambers and in turn the chamber also needs the government as they need to table some of their problems with the government so as to get solutions.
The GCCI prexy noted that “with more companies registering with the chambers and paying their yearly subscriptions they are supporting themselves as members of the chambers”. Companies, Drammeh said, must join the chambers as they are partners in development.
“Being a member of the chambers”, he explained, would make it possible for them to have addresses of companies and contacts. He said as of now there is no statistics on how many companies are operating in the country, which he said, is very sad.
As a chambers, Drammeh noted that they had taken the issue with the government to address the high cost of electricity for domestic use.
“We complained to the government about the rates of NAWEC and now the rates have gone down and all the companies are enjoying it, being a member or not. So you see what the chambers is doing. The reduction of the tariff is benefitting everybody,” he stated.
Drammeh revealed that the chambers is also discussing the issue of taxes with the government for possible reduction, adding that in the near future they hoped that the taxes would also be reduced.
Drammeh also explained that the yearly subscription and registration fees of companies and the annual gala dinners the chambers organises are what keeps them going.
“We use these monies to pay our staff among other things that the chambers needs to spend money on,” he said.
He added that from the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to Board of Directors, President, 1st and 2nd Vice-President, are all not paid a single butut, that they serve the chambers voluntarily and also put in some of their resources.
“We volunteer our money, our resources and time just to keep the chambers alive,” he concluded.

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