Participants, exhibitors and organizers of the on-going Kaduna International Trade Fair have blamed the nation’s insecurity challenges and the down turn of Nigeria’s economy particularly the closure of the borders as the factors that have led to the low turn-out at the fair.
According to exhibitors the abysmal patronage at the fair is unprecedented. “Most of the expected exhibitors are not here and this is obvious; given the insecurity in the country particularly along this corridor of Kaduna-Zaria road” Mallam Inuah Sadiq an exhibitor, pointed out.
Other stakeholders while counting their losses at the fair organized by the Kaduna Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA), said the organized private sector should make a strong case to the federal government to tackle insecurity and the opening of the borders otherwise trade fair of this nature will not have the desired impact on the nation’s economy.
According to visitors and exhibitors the attendance was observably poor; and for the first time in several years, the reality downed on stakeholders that the much-celebrated Kaduna Trade Fair was fast turning to a ghost of its once robust, self.
Alhaji Ahmed Dankwodu, an exhibitor from Zaria noted the significant low turnout at this year’s, 2020; Kaduna trade fair which he is a regular attendant. “This is the 7th year I am coming here, this year’s sales are poor, people are not coming, there is no patronage, only few bought things from me” he said.
A coordinator at one of the exhibition stands who sells Fabrics and kitchen utensils, Adeola Adams, said that she had been coming to the fair to sell her goods since 2010.
She said that sales at the ongoing trade fair are low compared to previous years.
“This year’s sale is too low compared with previous years, the people’s purchasing power is very low, so they couldn’t buy, the government should improve the economy of the country so that ordinary Nigerians could at least afford basic things.”
Another exhibitor, Magdalene Johnson, said that the fair has lost its flavour.
“Everywhere is just quiet, the government should open the border and let money circulate, things are really expensive so people could only afford to buy food,” she noted.
“As we all know that the economy is bad, I also believe that the border closure is part of the low patronage.”
An official of KADCCIMA who craved anonymity, blamed the low turn out on the security challenges and the economic situation.
He, however, said that they at KADCCIMA are optimistic as the fair just began a few days ago.
He said appropriate security measures have been put in place to ensure the success of the trade fair.