BUSINESS ‘70% of centenary fair goods made locally’
The Nigerian Centenary Trade Fair, which attracted investors and traders from within the country and abroad, will end tomorrow. In this interview, the Vice President (Commerce), Abuja Chamber of Commerce Industry, Mines and Agriculture (Abuccima), General India Garba, speaks on the proceedings at the fair.
What are the aims and objectives of the fair?
The centenary tradefair is a specialised one. It’s main aim is to display what we have been able to achieve within the last 100 years of our existence as a nation, and to showcase the ability to feed ourselves. For example, we have farmers who came here to display what they have been doing. We also have engineers and institutions that produce and market products. So investors who see these products can appreciate what we have achieved and partner with the local producers.
With the number of days spent, what is the assessment in terms of participation and also in terms of volume of trade?
The support and participation from government has been very encouraging, and because this is a specialised fair, we are pleased that government and private agencies have participated very well. Exhibitors have also come out to showcase and exhibit what they can produce at various levels - be it at the local government, state and or federal level. So the participation I will say, it being a specialised fair, is very good.
Considering what you have spent on putting the fair together and expenses you still envisage, will you say it has paid off?
It’s still ongoing, so it is not easy to estimate the cost so far. We still have days to go. So it is not easy to estimate as some people are still coming, and their expenses will also count in terms of power generation, because almost 24 hours of every day we buy diesel and also produce some of the facilities that people need here. Also, discussions are going on to house those traders that are still coming in because even as at today there are some traders who are still trying to construct their stands.
How has the fair done compared to other trade fairs in the country?
In terms of visits to the fair, we haven’t had that popularity, as I said earlier, this is a specialised fair and so it is business men and people who think they have something to benefit that are attending the fair. But on the whole we believe it is not been bad at all. I believe it’s fair.
What percentage of goods brought in are made in Nigeria?
Over 70% percent of goods brought into the fair are made in Nigeria. Although we have a few exhibitors from Ghana, Senegal, Niger and then we have about two or three companies exhibiting from India, otherwise most of the exhibitors are from Nigeria, and majority of goods brought in here are Nigerian made.