The 42nd edition of the Kaduna International Trade Fair has witnessed low turnout of participants and visitors three days after the fair began.
A correspondents who visited the trade fair complex in Kaduna on Sunday reported that the event began on Friday, but only few traders were seen displaying their wares and products. Others were also seen setting up their shops, while others were cleaning the environment.
Some of the participants expressed concern that they might record losses due to low patronage as the event was scheduled to end on June 6.
One of them, Mr Abubakar Yusha’u, of the Raw Material Research and Development Council, Katsina Office, said they were in the fair to showcase the state’s minerals and agro materials to investors.
Yusha’u, however, said that many investors and participants were yet to arrive for the annual fair and blamed the development on insecurity and poor economic situation in the country.
“International trade fair is usually organised not primarily to sell and purchase goods but to showcase technical innovation and ideas to investors and industrialists.
“We are hoping that things will improve in a couple of days otherwise the aim will be defeated,” he said.
Another participant, Mr Musa Usman, assistant marketing manager, Springfield Agro Ltd., pointed out that the complex was looking empty three days after the fair began.
“The turnout is very poor compared to previous editions where the place is crowded with people in just two days of the commencement of the fair.
“So far, I only got three contacts compared to the seven I recorded in the first three days during the 2020 edition,” he said. Mr Ibrahim Mohammed, Administrative Manager, Tech Africa Nigeria Ltd., Abuja, also said that the patronage was very low compared to previous years.
“We came from far and invested a lot of money. Maybe the low turnout was due to COVID-19, but we are hoping that the fair will pick up in the next few days.”
Similarly, Ms Seun Tosin, Sales Representative, Dangote Cement, who blamed the development on insecurity, expressed fear that the company might not get the usual patronage.