By Joy Odigie
Benin, July 14, 2020 The Benin Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (BENCCIMA) says the EDO 2020 Trade Fair will be planned to cushion effects of Covid-19 pandemic on Nigerian economy.
President of BENCCIMA, Mrs Helen Atekha-Odemwingie, said this during the formal inauguration of the Edo 2020 Trade Fair Planning Committee in Benin on Tuesday.
Atekha-Odemwingie said the trade fair, which would hold before the end of the year, would be an opportunity to re-launch the state as well as the nation’s economy after the challenges posed by the pandemic.
“We are optimistic that the fair will surpass achievements of the 2019 trade fair and help boost businesses and employment by attracting investors from around the country and beyond.
“We hope to harness the resources in the agriculture, natural and numerous businesses in the state.”
Mr Chima Okenwa, the Manager of Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL MFB) in Benin Office, during a lecture presentation at the event, said the pandemic had crippled many businesses in the country.
Okenwa said the immediate and future effects of Covid-19 could be mitigated by injecting finance into the coffers of businesses and families.
He said NISRAL was providing cheap loans for many small and medium-scale businesses affected by the pandemic.
“We have financial packages to assist new and existing business during the pandemic. You can also access our funds to start a business.”
The Head of Edo Investment Promotion Office, Mr Kevin Uwaibe, advised that technology platforms should be created for businesses in the state to showcase their products and services during the trade fair.
Uwaibi said the chamber should have a help desk for businesses as well as set up a support group for starters.
He added the state government was also assisting businesses to thrive during the pandemic through provision of inputs to farmers and tax holiday for transport operators.