Abuja trade fair: Exhibitors complain of low patronage


trade-fairSome five days into the 10th Abuja International Trade Fair, exhibitors are complaining of low patronage and attribute the situation to the non-payment of workers’ salaries.

The fair, with the theme: “Entrepreneurship as a Panacea for Economic Growth’’, opened on Sept. 18 and ends on Oct. 2.

Mr Chen Zhou, an exhibitor, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that he had not made any sales since the beginning of the fair.

Zhou who deals in furniture , said although people were coming to his stand, they promised to return and buy when salaries were paid.

“I pray that before the end of the fair people will buy some of these goods because I transported the furniture, paid for the space and also the workmanship.

“This is my first time and I hope it will not discourage me from coming next year although I may get some contacts that may be useful to me in future,’’ he said.

Another exhibitor, Mr Solomon Audu, said the low patronage might be because of the distance of the fairground from the city centre and as such people might find it difficult to visit.

Audu added that poor awareness might also be another reason why the exhibitors were witnessing poor sales.

“I know that before, people read about the fair in the newspapers, listen on radio and even online news but this time around many Abuja residents are not aware of the trade fair,’’ he said.

Also Mr Moukhtar Hassan, told NAN that compared to the 2014 fair the exhibitors were fewer.

He said the venue was almost full with exhibitors in 2014 but for 2015, lots of spaces were still empty and expressed the hope that people would still come after the public holiday.

Mrs Amaka Eze, said she was at the fair to see what exhibitors had and the prices so that when salaries were paid she could come to buy her children’s Christmas clothes.

“I want to see what is on ground so I can make my budget when I receive my salary because it will be cheaper to buy Christmas things, especially for children now,’’ she said.



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