Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has expressed dismay at the poor infrastructure at the Enugu International Trade Fair complex describing it as `unbefitting’ of events of such magnitude.
The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr Sam Ogbu-Nwobodo made the observation at the opening ceremony of the 29th Enugu International Trade Fair on Friday.
Ugwuanyi called on the Federal Government to urgently develop facilities at the site as it did to the fair complexes in Lagos and Kaduna.
The governor wondered that eight years after the fair debuted at the complex, the infrastructure had remained unattended to as there were no permanent stands for exhibition.
According to him, as a regional headquarters which has hosted the fair for 36 years, Enugu needed a befitting trade fair complex.
The governor said that his administration was engaged in a campaign to attract investment to the state and ensured that goods produced in Enugu compete favourably.
He said that his administration would continue to support the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Mines, Industries and Agriculture (ECCIMA) as well as the business community.
Ugwuanyi commended the Federal Government for the assistance it had given to the state towards the realisation of its goals, adding that more assistance were needed.
Earlier, the President of ECCIMA, Mr Emeka Udeze said that it had become imperative to remind the Federal Government on the need to develop facilities at the complex.
Udeze said that ECCIMA through its activities had contributed immensely to the development of the economy even in the face of obvious challenges.
The president said that successive administrations of the chamber had always appealed to the Federal Government to give a facelift to the complex by developing the facilities on the site
He said that the chamber had resorted to self-help in the upgrade of facilities in the complex to ease some of the challenges faced by exhibitors and visitors.
“Since we commenced hosting of fairs here eight years ago, we have been striving to improve on the infrastructure in the complex.
“In the last five years we have erected and completed a mini exhibition hall and enhanced the ceremonial pavilion within the resources available to the chamber to improve hosting of fairs,” he said.
The president said that the chamber had gone the extra miles to task members through credit leveraging to asphalt part of the internal roads in the complex.
“We have carried out these exercises after consultations with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
“The facilities according to the ministry may give way when the master plan for the development of the complex would be executed of which we have been anxiously looking forward to,” he said.
Udeze said that the chamber was also seeking the support of well meaning compatriots and business leaders to improve the state of infrastructure in the complex.
“It is our hope that participants, exhibitors and visitors would have fulfilling, rewarding and pleasant experiences throughout the period of this fair,” Udeze said.
Newsmen report that the theme of the fair is ‘Engendering the competitiveness of Nigerian products in the global market’.