By Taban Tom Henry
The National Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture has on Tuesday extended term of office of the current leadership for another two years citing crisis to conduct election for new leadership.
The extension came following a meeting held in Juba yesterday that brought together the chairpersons and the members of the chamber of commerce from all the ten states and the three administrative areas.
The meeting then resolved to extend the period of the leadership of the chamber of commerce for another two years transitional period.
Addressing Journalists after the meeting, the Chairperson of the National Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture Losidik Ladu Lukak Legge revealed that the council of the chamber of commerce has extended their period for another two years according to the constitution.
“All the ten states and one administrative area that is Ruweng but Abyei and Pibor were not around but the ten states and one administrative area agreed to extend the transitional period for two years.”
“We are today very happy because the chamber of commerce has extended the transitional period for another two years in the presence of the legal advisor and all the procedures went in a good way,” he said.
Lukak added that all the members have passed the transitional period according to the policies that the government is using citing that every time people complain that our term has ended but there is the period for the transition that is why we called on the board to extend the period.
Scovia Hidita, Chairlady for the Chamber of Commerce in Eastern Equatoria State said that they are grateful as the chairpersons of the states adding that it’s very important for the council to extend the period of the leadership saying the extension is to allow the chamber of commerce to prepare for election because now there is crisis and there is no money.
“All this time is good for the chairpersons at the state level and the national level to look at how they can get resources for the two years to come and conduct elections,” she said.
“Some states do not have good market and they do not have income generating activities and the role of the chamber of commerce in this extension is to work for the nationals to come up and practice business”.
Hidita stated that the chamber of commerce has the agenda that they are going to implement within this two years and that is why the extension period came in.
She added that they have to draw the plan, coordinate and lobby for resources and lay a strategy that will help the nationals to practice business.
For his part, the Chairperson Chamber of Commerce in Central Equatoria Robert Pitia Francis stated that the extension of the period of the chamber of commerce is to give legitimacy because their constitution says that after every four years they have to go for elections but due to some of the challenges that the country is facing such as flood and the insecurity, they have agreed on the extension in order to prepare for the elections.
“The current leadership of the chamber of commerce has taken ten years as of now because during that time they had wanted to conduct the elections and the war broke out in 2013 and again in 2016 and they are supposed to conduct the elections because the constitution says that if your term elapses unless you have to call for the members of the council so that they agree whether to go for elections or else they extend the period of the chamber of commerce so this are the legal powers that the chamber of commerce is practicing,” Pitia said.