News

June 17, 2024

Trade Fair: Over N300m realised, as Lagos reiterates robust support for SMEs

Trade Fair: Over N300m realised, as Lagos reiterates robust support for SMEs

•We ‘ve used entertainment to push Lagos brand, says Idris Aregbe

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

Over N300 million was realised in a day during a special three-day Lagos Tourism and Naija Brand Chick Trade Fair, organised by the Lagos State Government.

Meanwhile, the state government has reiterated its commitment to continuously support Small and Medium Entrepreneurs, SMEs, to grow businesses.

The assertion followed the success and remarkable achievements recorded at the three-day trade Fair, which ended last weekend.

Speaking at the final day of the fair in Ikeja, the Special Adviser to Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Arts, Tourism and Culture, Mr. Idris Aregbe, said the trade fair has changed the lives of the vendors and impacted their businesses positively.

The sixth edition of the trade fair, which began on Friday and ended on Sunday at Ikeja, was organised by a tourism firm in partnership with the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

Some of the thousands of vendors and participants who took part in the sixth edition of the fair, tagged: “Buy, Sell, Network,” described it as”a remarkable success.”

They also commended the Lagos State Government, particularly, Governor Sanwo-Olu, for providing opportunities for vendors to transact business successfully during the trade fair.

Speaking to journalists on the last day of the trade fair, Aregbe said; “Lagos will continue to lead when it comes to art, entertainment, commerce and industry.”

He continued; “It has been a great journey. It is indeed a fantastic project and initiative because people are happy. We have been able to create a partnership between Lagos Tourism and the trade fair.

“We have been able to use entertainment to push our brand. We have been able to use the event to educate the people on the streets of Lagos, and we have seen that Lagos will continue to lead when it comes to commerce and industry.

“I am happy that Governor Sanwo-Olu supported this initiative. The trade fair has changed many of the vendors’ directions for business, sales, and passion.

“I am happy, and the partnership between Lagos State and Naija Brand Chick is a fantastic one.

“We have vendors from the UK and different parts of Nigeria. And they all appreciated the Lagos State Governor for giving them the opportunity.”

Aregbe, while stressing the Lagos State Government’s commitment to growing SMEs, said: “The government is not in competition with anybody. We are only complementing and supporting businesses, especially SMEs.

“Lagos is committed to the trade fair because we need to grow our naira. We need to support SMEs. Lagos is huge when it comes to economic and entertainment values in terms of numbers, and we need to convert the numbers and values into something meaningful, and that is what we have done in the last three days to support SMEs.

“Any government or brand that is not supporting SMEs is not ready for business. Lagos State Government has demonstrated and shown other states that SMEs are something that we must show support for, and we must always find a way to support them and give them the nod that they need. And that is what we have done.”

Also speaking, the founder of Naija Brand Chick Trade Fair, Mrs. Nelly Agboju, said the 2024 edition was impactful, especially on vendors.

While commending Sanwo-Olu’s administration for the trade fair, she said: “The whole aim of this fair is to help business owners do better in their businesses, grow and meet their customers, get more visible and increase the capacity of their brands, and also help Nigerians in general.

“On the first day alone, over N300 million was realised. We are excited that the fair was a phenomenon, and we know this has been one of the best fairs ever.

“It couldn’t have been possible without the partnership of the Lagos State Government and the Ministry of Arts, Tourism and Culture. The Special Adviser, Aregbe, has been so amazing to us.

“He has supported us. He came around to see the vendors. He made sure everybody was happy. People came out after Ileya and Father’s Day. We are excited to see the results that have come out.

“This has been one of the most wonderful partnerships I have had in a very recent time.

“On our own, we do 25,000 in two days, but on the first day at the trade fair, we do 30,000 in one day. It shows capacity when you work with Lagos State. So, this has been an amazing one. We really do appreciate, and we love, the fact that Lagos is for businesses.”

Speaking on the success and impact of the trade fair, Bahijja Wasai, a vendor dealing in cosmetics, who came from Kano State for the trade fair, said the organisation of the trade fair should be a template for the organisation of other trade fairs.

She said, “I have participated in many trade fairs, but this particular trade fair is different from what we are used to. This is something different that we are witnessing.

“The trade fair was fantastic. It was the best fair in terms of organisation and it was the most intense in terms of sales. This is one of the best trade fairs I have ever witnessed so far. It has been a back-to-back trade with a large population.

“We will like to thank the Lagos State Government in particular because they have been very supportive from the beginning. The Governor of Lagos State has really tried for vendors in terms of organisation and everything. We will like to see more of this.”

Also speaking, another vendor, Mrs. Blessing Aregbesola, who deals in clothing, said the trade fair was a wonderful experience. “We are so grateful to participate in this exhibition because it has been a wonderful experience. The turnout is massive. It is a great experience. So, we thank Lagos Tourism and Naija Brand Chick. We are grateful to them.”