Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has assured exhibitors that its forthcoming 12th Abuja International Trade Fair will be bigger than the previous editions in terms of number of exhibitors and other participants.
Mr Chijioke Ekechukwu, the Director-General of ACCI, gave the assurance on Thursday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
“The 12th Abuja international trade fair that ACCI is going to hold this Sept. 21 to Oct. 7 is going to be bigger than the previous fairs the organisation has ever held in Abuja.
“I tell you that we are planning so big and we are in serious collaboration with many countries of the world and many of them have already paid for their stands.
“We are going to have many countries, both local and foreign, and quite unlike before, not much awareness was created for the fair, but this year, greater awareness is being giving for the event.
“So this year, we are expecting that we are going to have a better, bigger trade fair exhibition,’’ the director-general said.
Ekechukwu listed China, Pakistan, Indonesia, Ecuador, Egypt and even some European countries among many others as exhibitors that would come for the fair.
He commended the Federal Government for providing N220 billion loans scheme for the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).
He said that the loans would assist the small scale enterprise holders in their various businesses.
However, he advised the government to remove all stringent measures preventing the entrepreneurs to access the loans so that the SMEs could quickly get them for their businesses.
He added that government should also provide infrastructure such as good road, power, pipe- borne water, good health facilities and friendly environment to make businesses to thrive.
Ekechukwu said that a situation where an entrepreneur generated his power water, road and other facilities for his business would not make his business and the economy to grow.
He urged the government to intervene in the areas to fast track the nation’s economic development.
Ekechukwu called on the federal and state governments to remove hindrance like multiple taxation, saying “ there are so many taxes that a man who starts his business today will pay such as the corporate tax, P.A.Y.E, tenement rate.
“I think any country that wants to grow its medium scale enterprises should actually give tax reliefs to its investors.
“In fact Ghana did it recently by giving serious tax holidays to its various businesses and now investors have begun to troop into the country because of the tax relief.
“And I expect the Nigerian government to do same by giving tax rebate to its investors now that the nation is in economic recession to attract investments’’, Ekechukwu said.
According to him, funding is always the major problem of all the chambers of commerce in the world “because they always have a lot to do, but they do not have the funds”.
Ekechukwu advised members of the chamber to give the association their maximum cooperation, adding that the organisation was a good platform for them to grow their businesses