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Abuja fair: Exhibitors seek extension of closing date

01 October 2014, 21:30

Abuja - Exhibitors and traders at the ongoing 9th Abuja International Trade Fair have called on the organisers to extend the closing date by another one week.

The fair, which was organised by Abuja Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ABUCCIMA), started on Sept. 23 and expected to close on Oct. 6.

Some of the traders, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, complained about poor turnout of visitors and customers at the fair, and urged ABUCCIMA to extend it to enable them, meet their expectations.

One of the exhibitors, the Manager of Chikason Electronics, Mr Chika Paul, said unlike previous fairs held at the centre the patronage was poor.

Paul said that the sales recorded were not commensurate with the amount invested in securing stands and moving their wares to the trade fair.

Also read: Abuja is one of the most expensive cities in the world

"We are begging the organisers to please extend the fair by a week at least.

"We want the fair to be extended to enable us meet our expectations because we have been experiencing low patronage and all our products are being stocked down,” he said.

He, however, said that there was a little difference in the sales between Tuesday and Wednesday because of the Independent Day holiday.

"Yesterday and today have been very wonderful because of the public holiday, and there is a little increase in our sales and people have been trooping in to patronise us,” he said.

Also, Mr Yusuf Ilyasu, a Research and Development Engineer from National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, also urged the organisers to extend the closing date.

Ilyasu, however, said there was a little bit of improvement in the patronage on Tuesday compared to other days, and people are really impressed with our products and our technology.

"Nonetheless, we are scared of the closing date of the fair because we have been having low patronage but for the holiday today that enhance our patronage.                                             

"We are begging the organisers to please extend the closing date with some days to allow more people to come so that we can have more sales to justify our participation,” he said.

The Director-General of ABUCCIMA, Mr Joe Wenegieme, however, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that there was no justification for the extension of the fair.

Wenegieme said the claim of the exhibitors were not true because there had been an improvement in the patronage.

The director-general admitted that although the patronage was low at the beginning of the fair, but it had already picked up now.

"As you can see by yourself how people are trooping into the trade fair centre, you see both human and vehicular traffics outside the gate.

"There has been a long queue of vehicles undergoing security checks at the entrance indicating that people are patronising the fair.

"Why will you then extend the fair, it is uncalled for,” Wenegieme said.

 - NAN

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