From Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
Preparations are now in top gear to host another Trade Fair in Kwara State between 8th and 20th December 2022, Kwara State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KWACCIMA) said on Tuesday.
KWACCIMA President, Alhaji Olalekan Fatai Ayodimeji, made the declaration at a press conference in Ilorin, hoping that the turn-out of participants in the coming Fair (9th edition) would surpass what was recorded in 2021.
“This press conference is to formally herald the series of activities that will culminate into the 9th Kwara Trade Fair, which has been scheduled to hold between December 8th and 20th 2022 at the state stadium complex, Ilorin,” he said.
Themed: “Harmony Through Commerce,” the Fair is expected to be declared open by Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.
He also said the KWACCIMA is working in collaboration with relevant stakeholders and organisations including the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Kwara State chapter; the Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (MAN), Kwara/Kogi zone to be able to have a successful outing.
He commended the Governor for his regular support and the leadership role he played that made the 8th Trade Fair a successful one, asking the state government to replicate that in the 9th edition.
“KWACCIMA has also secured the endorsement and goodwill of the Governor to host the Fair on an annual basis for consistency and more popularity. This will also lead to an increase in attendance of people apart from becoming a reckoning international fair, ” the President said.
Ayodimeji, who recalled that the last Fair enjoyed participation from at least 100 business owners and visitors, expressed confidence that the coming edition will surpass that number, with over 200 product exhibitors and 500 visitors expected to attend the programme from within and outside Kwara.
He said the hosting of the 2021 fair in the state has started yielding positive results with a few local and international industrialists already showing interest to invest in agriculture and mineral resources.
“We had some callers from outside Nigeria that were making requests or asking questions about some of the things they can get in Kwara. Based on our particular attention on agric potentials, we got a request from OLAMS on how to increase their off-take of maize, which they know they can get locally.
“So, we had a discussion with them because we discovered that OLAMS can source raw materials from different local government areas that also attended the last Trade Fair. We keyed into that partnership immediately and we are negotiating and connecting them with relevant LGAs.
“We also got a request from another international investor who wants to invest in Solid Minerals. And let him know the procedure, including registering with the Federal Mineral Resources for licensing, ” he added.
Trade Fairs are generally to promote and create awareness for products, new businesses and innovation. It also helps to showcase available agriculture and mineral resources of the host state, the president said, adding that all concerned government establishments (MDAs) from the three tiers of government are expected to take part.
Ayodimeji called for immediate preparation of the affected MDAs in the state and the local government authorities to key in, while also appreciating them for their active participation in the last Trade Fair.