Chief (Mrs) Morenike Dele-Alimi is the Managing Director/CEO, MD Perspective Nigeria Limited, a company with expertise in events packaging and business support services. In this interview, the chartered accountant, who says her company has been a key stakeholder in the promotion and marketing of the famous Lagos International Trade Fair (LITF) in recent times, speaks on issues surrounding Nigerians’ businesses partners with Asians as well as preparations ahead the LITF 2019 edition which commences at the weekend, among other issues.
Lagos Trade Fair
This year we are working with our partners from China, including the Sub Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT for the Nigeria Textile Industry Fair, China National Machinery Industry International Co. Limited for the International Automotive Parts, Equipment and Service Fair founded upon Sino-German cooperation, “United Asia International Exhibition Group (UAEC)” is an international & professional Fair and Pavilion Organiser, authorised by the Ministry of Public Security of Peoples Republic of China and subsidised by Chinese Government. And they are bringing in four fairs and the four fairs have the same co-location with the annual Lagos International Trade Fair. We are having two halls there where we are going to host four different fairs. We have the International Automotive Parts, Equipment and Services Trade Fair (AutoEquip); the Nigeria International Textile Industry Fair (NGTEX); the Home Show Nigeria and the Premium Mechatronics Brand China (PBC). All these will take place at the Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos between Monday, November 4 to Thursday the 7th. The Lagos Trade Fair itself holds between November 1-10 but these four particular fairs will start on Monday and end on Thursday.Let me explain it this way, because of where they are coming from the kind of exhibitions they give they will bring few sample items of their manufacturing base. So they may not be able to bring in goods in bulk unlike Nigerians that can bring lots of things down. So they will bring few and if at the end of the day they get people’s interests, but I can assure you that it’s going to be an interesting section, they will not bring something that will not be affordable to Nigerian markets.
For most startups, finance remains one of the key issues confronting them.. Are there plans to link your prospects to any of such opportunities to enable them easily access some credit facilities and things like that?
Seriously, like I told you earlier, am a chartered accountant by profession, and let me say this for now, is something we have been into but is not something we can venture into later. But as it is now, we intend to do businesses with people and when we see it is something profitable for all of us, we may consider it. As a chartered accountant, it’s still under my purview but right now, we are concentrating on exhibitions but later when the needs arise for us to do that we may create a channel for that.
In view of the fairs we are having, we actually have special partners, we have supportive partners and we have supportive institutions that are parts and parcel of it.
We are confident about our figures and this is further boosted by the presence here today of various associations from the various sectors being covered by the exhibitions, who have signed on to the show as supporters. These include the Auto Spare Parts and Machinery Dealers Associations (ASPAMDA), Ladipo Central Executive Auto Dealers Association (LACEADA), Road Wheels and Tyres Dealers Association, Association of Nigeria Tyre Marketers.
Others are the Resident Automotive Components Dealers Association of Nigeria (RACDAN), Electrical Dealers Association on Nigeria, General Tools Dealers Association, International Market Association of Electronics, Alaba, Retail Council of Nigeria, Gift & Promotional Items Dealers Association, Iponri Model Market, Fabric Sellers Association, Woro Elewa, Lagos, Association of Finished Textile Dealers of Lagos, Balogun Business Association, Association of Fishing Materials Dealers, Lagos State, Fashion Designer Association of Nigeria. We also have the Association of Bedding and Curtain Materials dealers, Tejuoso Market, Mainland Spare Parts & Machinery Dealers Association, Connect Nigeria, Finelib.Com
We have Cooperative Media Associate, Connect Nigeria, these are all people we partner with in one way or the other. You can see that it’s a big package we want who is who of Lagos to come there. And our partners are bringing thousands for the exhibitors from China in all these different market segments we have mentioned. We’ve been looking at about a thousand so that when our people come in they will come and meet them in terms of trade and investment, we can get something tangible and because of our partners in China they are collaborating with government and we can assure to a large extent that they are not going to be in wrong hands.
I know what you are talking about. But when you look at it, if you are bringing in something from US, UK and all these developed countries, you’ll see packaged from China inscribed on them. Are we majorly talking about that, is not about what’s being brought from China but what’s being brought into Nigeria. There are a lot of issues concerning that and that’s why we agreed with our partners that it’s very important for us to have a symposium in which our people will be educated about what’s actually happening in China. They need to know the right way and manner to do business with these exhibitors and that’s why the symposium is coming up to educate them and for them to really understand the relationship we are supposed to have here. So that symposium comes up immediately after opening ceremony on Monday, 4th of November and we are going to have people there even from Nigeria. We intend to have Minister of Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo. We are going to have NACCIMA president there, we are going to have the DG of Lagos Chambers Commerce and Industry, we are going to have the chairmen of most our supportive Associations so that they would be able to take the messages to their members associations, the dealers and advise them on ways and manners to go about it. So that all the problems we are having in Nigeria will also be addressed. We became dumping site for all fraudulent people and that’s why we decided to contribute our own quota to the development of Nigerian economy because not many of us are into trade and investment because of these issues you have raised.
Of course we want to encourage people that this is an avenue for them. I encourage them to open their eyes and if they have made up their minds then meet these people, talk to them and take up the opportunity they can grab, then it’s a win win for Nigeria. For example, our partners agreed that all these associations take buses to their markets and bring people and they ate even going to grant them tickets. So it’s a win win for any Nigerian who intends to do business. So any businessman that really wants to do business should seize that opportunity.
MD Perspective Nigeria Limited has been involved with the packaging of events, especially business to business meetings, conferences and other corporate events for major companies both locally and overseas. Before venturing out, I have had the opportunity of working in several organisations, where I cut my professional teeth as they say in this business. I’m a chartered account by professional, and that placed me in a position to get involved in a couple of areas that has to do with planning, strategy, project management and of course, the budgeting and planning, which are key ingredients in event packaging. Of all the places I worked, two places stand out as far as preparing me for my current role. That is the Lagos State Commerce and Industry, the organisers of the famous Lagos International Trade Fair. I also had the opportunity of working at Olashore International School, where I took on the additional role of event packaging aside being the accountant. I worked for about six years there; I was in charge of their special events. Working in those two places made me discover my passion in event packaging and it was easy for me to define my path later career wise.
We got involved in the organisation of the trade fair about two years ago. We had business with some organisations, most of which had one form of business during Lagos International Trade Fair last year with some Asian companies.