Low patronage trails Enugu International Trade Fair
Midway into the 12-day Enugu International Trade Fair, which started on March 25, participants have lamented the poor patronage and purchasing power of visitors, occasioned by the harsh economic times.
At the permanent site of the trade fair complex, at Enugu on Tuesday, the Director-General of the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture Emeka Okereke, said he was “still hope that three to four days to the end of the fair, trading activities would pick up.”
Okereke, who traced the low turnout of both businesses and visitors, to the economy, said, “the state of the Nigerian economy has been the major challenge to this year’s fair. Cash flow has been very tight, which has affected a lot of participants.”
He added that, “The issue of lack of raw materials for most manufacturers, also hampered the level of participation,’ just as “high cost of foreign exchange for those importing raw materials partly affected businesses and industries, which eventually affected the trade fair.”
The Guardian investigations showed that part of the reasons for the low turnout was the inaccessibility of the trade fair site, high entrance fee, timing, and poor provision of utilities, like water and light.
At the Winco Foam pavilion, the Marketing Manager, Amaka Ugoh, explained that despite the fact that they are the only foam company at the fair, “the market is very dull. This year is hard, and the dollar issue is probably the reason some other foam companies are not present and others have closed shop,” she said.
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