| The Lagos International Trade Fair (Organised By The LCCI)
Fair Dates: November 2 - November 11, 2001
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|2001 Lagos International Trade Fair|
|2001 Lagos International Trade Fair|
Exhibitors Lobby For An Extension As 2001 Lagos International Trade Fair Ends (Posted 11th Nov, 2001)
The Lagos International Trade Fair comes to a halt today. Indeed, the fair can be described as successful, with over 10 countries represented, 165 officially registered participants and over 600 unofficial participants described as hawkers. The event marking the closing of the fair was quite moving as many of the exhibitors were openly demanding for an extension of the fair. The Governor of Lagos State, the host State was ably represented by the Deputy Governor, Senator Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele.
The closing event started in earnest around 2.00 p.m. with the arrival of guests, this was followed by the rendering of Nigeria's National Anthem. An address was delivered by the Chairman Trade Fair Board, Dr. H. Ademola Ajayi, he enumerated the aims of trade fairs world-wide and declared as successful the just concluded one. The sartorial President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chief Margaret O. A. Young (Mrs.), JP, OON gave a short address about the activities of the LCCI and the success of the fair. There was a colorful cultural display and the inspection of Pavilions followed.
The next stop was the LCCI Focus Centre where the Deputy Governor was hosted and presented with gifts for herself, the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry and the Governor. At around 4.00 p.m. a press conference was held, she answered questions from the media on various issues, Local Government Administration, ENRON power project being financed by the State Government among others. She took her leave at about 4.30 p.m. Immediately after her leave another press conference was announced by the organisers to be addressed by the Chairman Trade Fair Board, Dr. H. Ademola Ajayi. He generally used the opportunity to inform press men of the high points and low points of the fair since 2nd, November.
He mentioned the menace of hawkers at the fair ground, according to him this development disrupted the organiser's plan to have spacious walkways for visitors to the fair. With the fair ground measuring 40,000sqm, the organisers utilised only 27,000sqm in order to achieve this aim, that is, adequate movement space. This development automatically led to the overcrowding that was witnessed throughout the fair period, with relatively little space to maneuver within, visitors were forced to move at snail pace.
The major high point of the fair is the well organised security network that was provided. This has been applauded by both exhibitors and visitors alike. With the security post located at the cricket pitch, incidence of pick pocketing was greatly reduced at this fair compared to others. Though, a dark cloud almost blurred this achievement with the news of a 18 year old teenager allegedly stabbed to death in a fracas with miscreants at the Vita Malt stand. The deceased, Mr. Eferabevbe Timothy Begusa was a student of Ebute Elefun High School, Lagos. As at press time the cause of death is still the subject of police investigation.
Another plus to the organiser's according to the words of Dr. Ademola Ajayi is the high record of sales and contacts made by virtually all exhibitors/participant. They (organisers) were persuaded to extend the daily duration of the fair as business was moving briskly for many of the exhibitors. The organisers were also able to record an increase in exhibitors compared to last year and the presence of more foreign participants.
A new innovation was introduced in this years' fair with the introduction of an award ceremony to deserving companies at the fair. According to the Dr. Ajayi this award is to recognise astounding exhibitors and it is quite different from the common certificate of participation that will be given to all participants at the fair. The criteria for choosing a beneficiary are straight-forward. They are consistency in fair attendance, layout/arrangement of stand, innovation, size of space occupied etc. some of the lucky recipients of these awards are Ebonyi state for consistency, German pavilion for layout/arrangement, Samsung for innovation, Lagos state for size occupied among other recipients.
Exhibitors and hawkers interviewed felt fulfilled by the fair and hope to participate more actively in coming years, this can be adduced to the level of patronage which is larger than any other fair in the past. The organisers are still collating statistics to arrive at an average number of visitors to the fair this year, but without doubt it should easily surpass 400,000.
A very unique project was extensively marketed at the fair. This product could easily open new doors to both foreign and local investors in the Nigerian economy. The product keeps business minded people in tune with the prevailing Information Technology revolution in Nigeria. According to the young talented engineer who made his dream a reality, he gives glory to the Lord. The product is simply titled 'Ask Me', this is a CD ROM that contains over 70,000 names, addresses, telephone/fax numbers, trade marks, product/services, trade category, number of employees and export percentage of Nigerian companies. It is a brilliant idea and probably the first in Nigeria, gone are the days that we rely on big multi-paged directories to get such information, now at the click of a key or button you can access vast amount of information with impressive ease.
With the multifarious opportunities that was harnessed and will be utilised after the fair, the exhibitors can surely give a sigh of relief of having got value for their participant fees. Without doubt, the rush for a stand next year will be quite fierce as every organisation worth its salt will want to take part in the fair. The benefits opened by the just concluded fair cannot be measured now, both to the
exhibitors and visitors. Extensive links was established and the world had a glimpse of what Nigeria and Nigerians can offer for a week and 3 days. Also it is a testament to the effect of democratic rule in relation to economic liberalisation in the