Abuja Trade Fair: Exhibitors express optimism on patronage
September 29, 2012 13:27
Abuja, Sept. 29, 2012 (NAN) Exhibitors at the ongoing 7th Abuja International Trade Fair have expressed optimism that the level of patronage would improve as the 12-day fair progresses.
The fair, organised by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ABUCCIMA) commenced on Sept. 27, at the J.T. Useni Trade Fair Centre, Airport Road.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Correspondents at the venue on Saturday report that both local and foreign exhibitors displayed their wares.
Mr Henry Offor, an exhibitor from Ghana who sells packaged natural foods, told NAN that the patronage would increase as the fair progresses.
Offor, however noted that the location of the fair outside the city centre would affect sales because many people would find it difficult to come the venue.
``The level of patronage will improve with time because the trade fair started on Sept. 27.
``But the organisers should have considered the choice of venue as the fair was previously held at the Old Parade Ground which is accessible to many people.’’
He regretted that the hotels where the exhibitors lodged were not provided with free vehicles to convey the exhibitors to and from the centre as done in other countries.
Another exhibitor from Ghana, Mrs Matilda Prah, said she preferred the previous venue as it costs more to get the J.T Useni Trade Fair Complex.
Prah exhibits African wear, fabrics and embroidery.
``I would have preferred the old venue because it is closer to the hotels where we used to lodge. I spent N1,200 everyday to get here.’’
Another participant from India, Mr Ravi Bharat, who exhibited water filtration machines, said it was too early to assess the fair having started two days ago.
Mr Chidi Ojoho, a local participant who exhibited fruit drinks expressed the hope that sales would improve, adding that the organisers should do more on environmental sanitation.
``There should be more awareness about the fair to improve the patronage and ensure profits.’’
Mr Joe Wenegieme, the Director-General of ABUCCIMA, said the chamber was looking forward to re-coup its investment and have a successful fair.
Wenegieme said that apart from Ghana that came with 52 companies, exhibitors from Senegal, Mali, Egypt, Indonesia, Philippines and India were also participating in the fair.
``We have exhibitors from seven foreign countries and about 140 local participants.’’
NAN reports that food sellers who were having brisk businesses are also hoping that the patronage would increase as the fair progresses.
Security had been beefed up at the venue as soldiers, policemen and personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps patrol the area.
The theme of the fair is: `Transforming and Reforming SMEs as Growth Drivers for Economic Development.’’ (NAN)