Governor Babatunde Fashola
By Crusoe Osagie
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), organisers of the Lagos International Trade Fair, have described the coming forum as a boost to the nation’s industrial sector, which is critical for sustainable economic transformation.
The organisers, in a media briefing in Lagos, disclosed that this year’s trade fair, billed to hold at the Tafawa Balewa Square Lagos, is committed to the promotion and development of indigenous and international collaborations in trade and industry.
According to the Chairman of the Trade Promotion Board of LCCI, Babatunde Ruwase, the theme of the fair is ‘Promoting trade for a sustainable economy’ designed to manifest LCCI’s commitment to the development of both local and international trade, towards the realisation of a speedy transformation of the economy.
“With the continued recognition of the role of the private sector in the economic development of Nigeria, and the move by the Nigerian government to transform the nation’s economy, the fair seeks to use the medium of trade to support government’s concerted efforts and provide an avenue for both Nigerians and foreigners to have opportunities, not only for interaction but also to strike highly mutually beneficial and lucrative business relationships.
“We shall continue to work with various government agencies like NAFDAC, SON, Consumer Protection Council and others to ensure that products at the exhibition are of the highest quality. We are therefore using this opportunity to appeal to all exhibitors, local and foreign to ensure that only products of high quality, duly certified by Nigerian regulatory authorities are displayed and/or sold during the trade fair,” he said.
He pointed out that the current global economic crisis has positively impacted on the Lagos International Trade Fair, because of the shift of international investors’ attention to developing economies like Nigeria.
“We have already received firm assurances of participation from many companies from Ghana, China, Pakistan, India, European Union, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan ROC, while enquiries have been received from Cameroun, Hong Kong, United States of America and the United Kingdom,” he said.
He showed from the floor plans that allocations have been made in the halls for exhibitors in the following sectors, electrical and electronics, furniture and fittings, information communication technology, communications, publication and stationeries and the foreign exhibitors.
He further disclosed that floor exhibitions have been provided for the exhibitors in the following sectors: household, cosmetics, fashion, financial services, automobile, oil and gas, agriculture and allied industry, building and construction, heavy machinery and equipment and food and beverages.
“On the local scene, about 25,000 square metres of space have been booked as at the third week of September, 2012. This, compared with the same period last year, represents over 30 per cent increase in space booking. It is envisaged that by the end of October, we would have reached our target of 35,000 square metres,” he said.
Ruwase disclosed that the 10-day fair is expected to be declared open by President Goodluck Jonathan on November 2. Other expected dignitaries include the Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, President of NACCIMA, Dr. Herb Ajayi, members of the diplomatic corps and captains of industry.
He revealed that some new innovations have been introduced in this year’s fair such as new entry ticketing and visitor car park regime meant to address and control the expected crowd at the event, introduction of a feedback desk and dedicated phone lines to check any untoward act by exhibitors.
He said the chamber would also organise a free training seminar for prospective exhibitors on how to maximize participation at the fair to be anchored by LCCI’s Business Education, Services and Training Unit (BEST).