ALL is now set for the Nsukka Trade Fair which begins this month at Government Field, Odenigbo Road.
Expectedly, during the Trade Fair which is the first of its kind to be organised by the Nsukka Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NSCCIMA), there will be sales exhibition.
The theme of the Fair, which will be first of its kind, is “Promoting SMEs and Agriculture for National Ecnomic Recovery” and it is expected to attract businessmen and women as well as foreign industrialists to the University town of Nsukka.
Briefing newsmen in Enugu, the President of NSCCIMA, Dr Basil Onugu, said that the Fair was aimed at finding a way to diversify the economy through agriculture and agro-allied industrial ventures since the petro-oil economy seems to be nose diving owing to fall in the price of crude oil in the international market.
“There is an emerging consensus among governments at all levels, development experts as well as well-meaning Nigerians that part of the immediate and sustainable solution to the multi-faceted challenges confronting Nigeria, the falling oil prices and prevailing economic depression is, diversification through agriculture and agro-allied industrial ventures.
“The 2016 Nsukka Trade Fair seeks to reinforce and substantiate this emerging thought by providing a platform where the business and investment opportunities and potentials in agriculture and agro-allied ventures and other Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, in South East can be identified, showcased and harnessed for the nation’s economic recovery and growth,” Onugu explains.
He made it clear that promoting SMEs and encouraging agriculture and agro-allied industrial ventures would put the nation on sound economic footing instead of over reliance on an economy tilted towards crude oil windfall.
Explaining about Nsukka Chamber of Commence, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, NSCCIMA, the president said that the organisation was incorporated in Nigeria in January 2014 with the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, under the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2000 as a non-profit making, non-partisan, non-sectarian organisation.
He pointed out that NSCCIMA was the umbrella union of the organised private sector, OPS, professionals, enterpreneurs and businessmen, businesswomen within and outside Nsukka Zone also known as Enugu North Senatorial Zone of Enugu State. By implication, he is saying that NSCCIMA is not limited to people from Nsukka but is open to people from every tribe and race.
Onugu who ex-rayed the objectives and mandate of NSCCIMA, disclosed that the November Fair will be organised by NSCCIMA in conjunction with the technical support and partnership with BKG Exhibitions Ltd, Lagos.
He explained that the objective of NSCCIMA include but not limited to promoting, protecting and stimulating the establishment and growth of Small and Mediums Scale Enterprises, SMEs in Enugu State as a means of increasing the commercial and economic activities so as to create wealth, empower the people, grow the state’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, and enhance the standard of living among others.
The Chamber’s objective, Onugu posits include adocating and liaising with the government on issues affecting industries, commerce and business as well as their welfare and incentives where necessary and appropriate.
The Chamber, he also posited, would be organising, apart from the 1st Nsukka Trade Fair coming up on November 10, 2016, annual trade and sales exhibitions while occasionally organising special fairs like Agric Trade Fair as well as Christmas Fairs when they are deemed fit and necessary.
Apart from organising trade fairs and special fairs, NSCCIMA would, from time to time organise entrepreneurial skills development workshops/seminars for the youths and the unemployed; enhance the capacity of the existing enterprises and creating new ones through linkage to local and foreign investment opportunities; organise bi-annual trade missions to overseas countries for members to network with foreign companies towards attracting foreign investment/partnership opportunities to Enugu State for rapid urbanisation and transformation of the state and the nation.
NSCCIMA president, stated that they have set a target, a goal that in the next five years, there will increased commercial and economic activities in Enugu State which in the long run will create jobs.
“Our goals in the next five years include ensuring an increase in commercial and economic activities within our jurisdiction in order to empower the people especially through establishment of more SMEs that will create more jobs and wealth for our teeming population.
“NSCCIMA will serve as the central organisation for collecting, distributing and disseminating information/data of business nature, especially investment/business opportunities for local and international trade and others matters affecting local and foreign markets,” he stated.
He said that NSCCIMA as a business consortium, has plans/vision to establish industrial clusters and parks through the support of the state government and partnership with organised private sector and international development agencies within and outside Nigeria in addition to organising seminars, economic summits, workshops, and conferences and training sessions for the business community and budding enterpreneurs on issues and topics that will enhance and promote business growth and development.
On the unique selling points of the forthcoming fair, Onugu said that the Fair is intended, among other things, to throw searchlight into the nooks and crannies of Enugu State and by extension, South Eastern Nigeria to discover, expose and promote the rich SME and agricultural investment/business potentials and opportunities at the grassroots, pointing out that the 12-day Trade Fair will include side attractions like daily performances by popular and upcoming Nigerian musicians and comedians. He also pointed out that budding musicians and comedians would also take advantage of the performances to make necessary contacts for future exploitation and subsequent actualisation of their dreams.
Fielding questions from the newsmen, Onugu who was accompanied by the Director General, DG, NSCCIMA, Dr. Daniel Ochi to the briefing as well as other members of the council said that NSCCIMA is poised for the D-Day because Nsukka has a lot of hotels that can house the exhibitors, participants and visitors to the Fair. He explained that Nsukka is known for agricultural products which the Fair would help to showcase to the world.
On security, he said that adequate security arrangement had been made to ensure a hitch-free Fair.