Southern States Shun Niger Trade Fair over Security Concerns

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Laleye Dipo in Minna

Virtually all the states in the southern part of the country will not attend the 15th Niger state domestic trade fair opening in Minna on Tuesday.

THISDAY learnt that the states hinged their decisions not to attend the exhibition on insecurity in the northern part of the country.

A dependable source close to the organisers of the trade fair said: “Everybody in the south says northwest is not safe, it is very difficult to convince them.

“They said coming to the north is like signing ones death warrant. We are going to make do with what we have; the trade fair must go on.”

It was gathered that only six northern states had as at Monday signalled intention to participate in the exhibition, with the theme; ‘Patronising Made- in- Nigeria Goods’.
The states are Benue, Plateau, Kano, Jigawa,Zamfara and Sokoto.

When contacted, the Director General of the Niger State Chamber of Commerce Industries Mines and Agriculture, Alhaji Adamu Salihu declined to comment on the refusal of the southern states to participate in the trade fair but said six northern states would take part in the fair.

Adamu said apart from the six states not less than 1000 exhibitors would display their products during the fair.

He said Governor Abubakar Sani Bello would declare the trade fair open while the Minister of Trade and Investment Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah would be the Special Guest of Honour.