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Low turnout at Kaduna trade fair 3 days after

The 42nd edition of the Kaduna International Trade Fair has witnessed low turnout of participants and visitors three days after the fair began, a check by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) revealed.

NAN correspondents who visited the trade fair complex in Kaduna on Sunday, report that the event begun on Friday, but only a few traders were seen displaying their wares and products.

A few others were also seen setting up their shops, while others were cleaning the environment.

Some of the participants who spoke to NAN, expressed concern that they might record loses due to low patronage as the event was scheduled to end on June 6.

One of them, Mr. Abubakar Yusha’u, of the Raw Material Research and Development Council, Katsina Office, said they were in the fair to showcase the state’s minerals and agro materials to investors.

Yusha’u, however, said that many investors and participants were yet to arrive for the annual fair and blamed the development on insecurity and poor economic situation in the country.

“International trade fair is usually organised not primarily to sell and purchase goods but to showcase technically, innovation and ideas to investors and industrialists.

“We are hoping that things will improve in a couple of days otherwise the aim will be defeated,” he said.

Another participant, Mr. Musa Usman, Assistant Marketing Manager, Springfield Agro Ltd., pointed out that the complex was looking empty three days after the fair began.

“The turnout is very poor compared to previous editions where the place is crowded with people in just two days of the commencement of the fair.

“So far I only got three contacts compared to the seven I recorded in the first three days during the 2020 edition,” he said.

Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed, Administration Manager, Tech Africa Nigeria Ltd., Abuja, also said that the patronage was very low compared to previous years.

“We came from far and invested a lot of money. Maybe the low turnout was due to COVID-19, but we are hoping that the fair will pick up in the next few days.”

Similarly, Mrs. Seun Tosin, Sales Representative, Dangote Cement, who blamed the development on insecurity, expressed fear that the company might not get the usual patronage.

She urged government at all levels to improve security situation for businesses to thrive.

When contacted, Alhaji Usman Saulawa, Director General, Kaduna Chambers of Commerce Industries, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA), said that the fair usually pick up three to four days after commencement.

Saulawa added that the Kaduna State Government had equally mandated them to reduce the number of participants due to COVID-19.

He expressed confidence that the turnout would improve in a day or two, saying that much participants were currently fixing up their spaces for business, while others would arrive on Monday.

NAN recalls that KADCCIMA Acting President, Alhaji Suleiman Aliyu, had during the opening ceremony of the 42nd edition on Saturday described Kaduna International Trade Fair as one of the largest commercial event in the country and Africa.

Aliyu explained that the event with the theme, “Promoting Domestic Production to Mitigate the Current Economic Challenges”, would witness a modest and moderate participation in compliance with the COVID-19 protocols.

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