Day 10 -
10 Glorious Days of Commerce and Networking,
as Trade Fair Ends
22nd Lagos International Trade Fair came to a close today. From a humble
background in 1980, the annual fair has become the most popular and
widely participated trade show in Nigeria and indeed Africa. This year's
events took a different turn with noticeable increase in
exhibitors/participants and an astronomical leap in the visitors. The
people that visited the fair today is in the neighbourhood of 65,000.
Without doubt this year fair recorded the largest participation and
visitors compared to its predecessors.
Lagos State took the centre stage today at the fair ground. With a
pavilion that caught the fancy of many. The host State bagged an award
for having the best State pavilion among other States. The Commissioner
for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Babatunde Balogun received the award on
behalf of the State. Lagos State indigenes and ministry officials were
conspicuous at their event, many of the "Iya Ekos" (Lagos women) were
gorgeously dressed with headgears competing for space, and these women
rendered local songs at intervals to entertain guests. The Honourable
Speaker of the Lagos House of Assembly, Hon. Mamowora, ably represented
the Lagos State Governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, at the occasion.
Immediately after the Lagos State Day, the franchisee of the ticketing
and marketing of this year's fair, Chivalry Merchant and Brokers
Limited, led by their General Manager, Mr. Gboyega Oloniyo presented the
stub of the tickets of all visitors to the fair from day 1 to 10 for the
raffle draw. In the history of the Lagos International Trade Fair, this
is the first time a raffle draw will be organised and winners drawn from
the ticket numbers of visitors to the fair. The Speaker, Honourable
Mamowora drew the winner of the Volkswagen Bora saloon car being the
first prize. The second prize winner, a return flight ticket to South
Africa was drawn by the President of the LCCI, Chief John A. Odeyemi and
the third winner was drawn by the Chairman Trade Fair Board, Dr. Herbert
Ademola Ajayi, the winner goes home with a brand new generating set.
The closing ceremony of the fair started around 2.00 pm with the two
main addresses delivered by the Chairman, Trade Fair Board, Dr. H
Ademola Ajayi and the President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry
(LCCI), Chief John A. Odeyemi. The ceremony was spiced by a cultural
display, which was followed by the inspection of Pavilions. The German
pavilion bagged the best foreign exhibitor award, with the UAC carting
home the foreign conglomerate award and some media houses bagging
various categories of awards. The Lagos State Speaker delivered the
Governors speech and the special guests were ushered to the LCCI focus
centre where a short press conference was held.
Many people have different opinions about the just concluded Trade Fair.
Some see more of the failings of the LCCI in the area of inadequate
utilities like water, toilets, electricity, telephone and waste disposal
facilities. All these imperfections was admitted by the Chairman, Trade
Fair Board, but he says it could be worse and people should look forward
for a better organised fair come 2003. These problems, he attributes to
the difficult terrain of this year's venue and he believes things will
be improved soon.
On the other hand, the fair this year grossed the highest number of
exhibitors/participants. A high number of 'illegal' hawkers and
exhibitors were recorded to have boosted the figures. Inspite of the bad
road to the International Trade Fair Complex along Badagry Expressway,
Lagos, the fair witnessed one of the largest turnouts of visitors in the
history of the Lagos International Trade Fair. The provision of shuttle
buses greatly reduced the burden of visitors to the fair. This feat was
made possible by the franchise given to City Buses by the LCCI.
Another positive effect of the present fair ground is the ample space,
which allowed the exhibitors, and visitors more elbow room. With a total
space of 70,000sqm, the International Trade Fair Complex along Badagry
Expressway is far bigger than the Tafawa Balewa Square, venue of the
Lagos International Trade Fair, for the past 6 years with just
If the LCCI can maintain the momentum of its achievements this year,
subsequent fairs will turn out very successful. Though, a lot of
organisation is needed especially in carving out sections for exhibitors
in the same sector, this will allow for easy identification of a
visitor's interest and also guarantee better security. For example, the
banks need a more secluded section on the fair ground to ensure the
safety of their depositors and customers that came to withdraw funds.