Trade Fairs are platforms for promoting businesses, especially Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) which constitutes the bedrock of economic growth of Nigeria. The big players also take part in trade fairs.
MSMEs are the major contributors to employment generation, wealth creation, poverty alleviation and food security in the country.
A recent document by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) puts the number of MSMEs in Nigeria at over 17 million, with a total employment of over 30 million.
The 30th Lagos International Trade Fair which runs from November 4 to 13, 2016, has the theme: “Positioning the Nigerian Economy for Diversification and Sustainable Growth”.
Companies under the staple of Dangote Group are adding colour to the ongoing fair with array of goods on display. Companies in the group offering consumer goods at the fair are Dangote Sugar Refinery, NASCON Allied Industries Plc (Dangote Salt), and Dangote Flour.
Other companies from the stable who have established a help desk at the Group stand to handle inquiries include-Dangote Cement, Dangote Rice and Dangote Refinery. A sister company, Dansa Foods is also at the Fair, offering their brand of table water, Mowa premium drinking water.
Some products on display at the fair include Dangote sugar, Dangote Flour, spaghetti, noodles and macaroni Dangote salt, Danq (seasoning), tomato paste. Dangote Sugar will be offering customers different sizes of granulated sugar packs at the fair.
A statement from Corporate Communications Unit of Dangote Group, said the fair has become a veritable venue for introduction of new innovations to Dangote products and that visitors to the group pavilion at both fairs will have the opportunity of buying products of these companies at reduced prices.
Dangote Flour is offering customers a wide range of products at discounted prices. Buyers are going with several gifts as reward for purchasing Dangote Flour products. Products at the stand include-Dangote Noodles, flour for baking, wheat meals, spaghetti and macaroni.
Dangote Group is of the view that the trade fair is coming at an appropriate time, close to the last month in the year. This affords traders and dealers the opportunity to buy and stock their shops while end users buy for yuletide.
NASCON is offering its repackaged salt packs to customers at the trade fair. The new salt pack which is to endear the product to its teeming customers still comes in packs of 250g, 500g and 1kg. It is redesigned is to make the product more accessible and affordable for consumers and other end users.
Also, there will be free samples of the products like salt, seasoning, Tomato paste and the Dansa juice drinks for the visitors. Management of NASCON explained that the company is offering free samples of pepper soup to visitors who come to its stand.
NASCON said the company would be giving its customers a good treat at the fair saying it has added to the richness of its products like Danq seasoning and Tomato paste and embark on an expansion of its distribution network to make the product more readily accessible to consumers.
Aside this, the statement said customers wanting to be distributor of any of the Dangote group subsidiaries would have the opportunity to be offered informed explanations by staff of the companies who would be on hand to put the customers through on how to go about it.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the fair, the president of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the organizer of the fair, Mrs. Nike Akande said the theme of the 2016 Lagos International Trade Fair, “Positioning the Nigerian Economy for Diversification and Sustainable Growth,” was chosen to underscore the critical importance of economic diversification and the creation of an enabling environment to attract new investments both domestic and foreign and grow existing ones.
According to her, it is also to underline the imperative of building an economy that is sustainable. There is perhaps no better time to do this than now.
She noted that this year’s Oil price got to its lowest in two decades and calls for major adjustments in both public and private sectors of the economy, saying it is imperative at this time to focus on the non-oil sector for diversification.
“The non-oil economy is generally more inclusive and integrated. It is also more growth-oriented, and characterized by high economic linkages, more stable and above all more sustainable. It is important for us to appreciate these fundamental dynamics of the Nigerian economy in order to be able to construct polices that would ensure sustainable economic development.
“The pressing and overriding challenge in our quest for economic diversification is to fix the impediments to productivity and competitiveness in the economy. If we tackle these constraints, we would encourage domestic investment, attract foreign capital and facilitate the realization of the enormous potentials in the Nigerian economy,” she said.
She pointed out that potentials abound in the agricultural, industrial, gas based industries; services, solid minerals, tourism, and distributive trade sectors and recent developments in the global economy have further underlined the imperative of economic diversification.
She noted that evidence of innovation; ingenuity, resilience and doggedness of Nigerian entrepreneurs abound at this Trade Fair, even in the face of economic recession showed determination to succeed.
Also the buyers at Dangote Stand have said the prices offer are friendly and cheaper from the outside. They also noted that every year at the fair, Dangote companies offer varieties of their products on discount prices.
Over 1,000 exhibitors and 20 of foreign firms are participating in the Trade Fair.