The Chief Executive Officer of the Calabar International Trade Fair, Gerald Konwea has announced a partnership with the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), towards executing the annual 10,000-vendor trade exhibition.
He said that the partnership stands to be one of the most important in over a dozen partnerships the company has secured since the MoU signing in March with the Cross River State Government.
According to a statement signed by the company secretary, Andy Daze, Konwea explained that under the partnership, both organisations will encourage Nigerian entrepreneur participation at state level by reaching out to state governments to take advantage of the exhibition and the skills development programme; facilitate international entrepreneur/vendor participation by reaching out to embassies operating in Nigeria with participation information; facilitate investment in Nigeria through the CITF channel and make new business registrations fast and efficient especially through the NIPC’s One Stop Investment Centre (OSIC) and work together to produce a ‘doing business in Nigeria’ handbook that will benefit both local and foreign participants.
While lauding the management of NIPC for the speed at which the partnership was signed, Konwea enthused that the federal and state governments ought to take the CITF project serious by exploiting its economic gains.
He added that due to the magnitude of the project, the maiden edition has been moved to December 16, 2017 to give the team enough time to prepare, Konwea said: “When you are trying to host the world to one of the biggest events in its class, and you are doing it for the first time, you have to address and exhaust all if’s and maybe’s and that means entering into strategic partnerships that are incidental to the success of the whole project as there is no room for error.”
He pointed out some already secured partnerships and hinted at working closely with the Nigerian Immigration Services to streamline the process of obtaining visas and permits for international vendors adding that vendor registration will be open anytime from now and there will be rewards for early registrants.
“We also want to make it easy for vendors when they arrive in Nigeria. We are in talks with 2 telecoms providers to partner on the supply of sim cards and telephones to our vendors but for the international attendees we want them to be able to connect as soon as they hit Murtala Mohammed or Nnamdi Azikiwe. We don’t want our vendors stranded. We will finalise on that in a week or two.”