By Franklin Alli and Naomi Uzor
DESPITE economic recession in Nigeria, 238 companies within and outside the country are participating and exploring investment opportunities at the 2016 Lagos International Trade Fair.
The 30th edition of the fair, tagged “Positioning the Nigerian Economy for Diversification and Sustainable Growth,” was declared opened, (Friday) at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
Vanguard learned that of the 238 companies that came to explore business and investment opportunities at the fair, 170 are domestic firms, 59 Chinese and 9 Egyptian companies.
Governor Ambode lauded Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, the organiser of the fair for having sustained the tempo of activities for three decades.
Represented by Secretary to Lagos State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, he said: “I am assuring members of the business community in Lagos state that the present administration is committed to improving the business environment and making it more attractive to investors. Our administration will continue to improve on its business climate, attract more local and foreign investments into the state, create job opportunities and increase productive capacity until we achieve our dream of becoming Africa’s model megacity by 2025.”
NACCIMA calls for permanent site
Also speaking, Chief Bassey Edem, the President of Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), also commended LCCI for the consistent organisation of the fair which has been acclaimed “the biggest and the largest trade fair in ECOWAS and Central Africa, attracting an average of 500,000 investors from over 18 countries yearly.” He, however, called on the State Government to help LCCI facilitate and fast-track getting a permanent site for the trade fair as obtained in Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Enugu.
“NACCIMA as the “Voice of Nigerian Business” will continue to advocate for the growth of businesses and the enhancement of a conducive business environment in Nigeria. Trade Fairs such as the Lagos International Trade Fair need to be supported by Government, because it creates a platform for investors and other stakeholders to display the opportunities that come with diversification,” he said.